It’s the end of an era! After 48 years of dedicated service, our masterful Head Cheesemaker, Dale Baumgartner, has hung up his uniform. Dale started at Tillamook County Creamery Association in May 1969, and for nearly five decades he artfully led the team who crafted the Tillamook Cheese our fans have come to know and love. When Dale first started, Tillamook Cheese was still wrapped in cheese cloth and wax! He’s upheld the high-quality standards that make Tillamook exceptional, through packaging updates, innovative new equipment, revolutionary production changes and tremendous growth. His dedication and passion for cheesemaking has been vital to Tillamook’s success and our ability to consistently produce a delicious, natural cheese for our fans all over the country. We will miss him, but he is undoubtedly leaving behind a legacy that will only get better with age and will live on in the cheese-making team that Dale has passionately trained like a proud papa. Here are some fun facts about our favorite head cheesemaker!
• He made more than 2 billion pounds of cheese in Tillamook during his career.
• At Tillamook, May 20, Dale’s original hire date, was officially proclaimed Dale Baumgartner Day in 2014, to honor his 45th anniversary with TCCA.
• Dale had a secret stash of cheddar hidden in the Tillamook Creamery for decades. The oldest cheese he had was from 1981!
• Dale loves fishing, hunting and bike riding. The furthest he’s ridden his bicycle is 108 miles.
• Dale’s father and uncle were also cheesemakers. It’s safe to say that cheesemaking runs in the family!
Thank you Dale, for all your years of incredible work. We know it’s cheesy, but we truly could not have done it without you!
Want to learn more about how cheese is made? Watch our interview with Dale here!