FoodGrads Podcast Ep 68: Behind the Scenes of Cheesemaking with Janice Groenheide, Cheesemaker and Owner of WalkaboutFarm

Janice Groenheide is a cheesemaker and owner of WalkAboutFarm. She owns WalkAboutFarm with her husband Rob where they currently milk sheep with the help of the Thunder Oak Cheese Farm to produce 3 different types of cheese including a local feta style cheese.

Janice was very involved in agriculture while growing up on her family’s sheep farm. She was very active in both 4-H and her local agricultural society. After attending the University of Guelph for Agriculture and Conestoga College for Paramedics, Janice moved to Thunder Bay and currently works as a paramedic as well as on the farm.

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Show Notes


[2:26] What Janice does at WalkaboutFarms and cheeses they make

[9:46] Why Janice decided to stay in agriculture

[12:53] Parts of the job that Janice likes best

[19:35] University of Guelph Cheese Making Course

[22:44] The cheese-making process

[24:29] Misconceptions about cheese-making

[28:17] Cheese-making community and what is like

[29:34] Skills needed to be a cheese-maker

[31:59] Advice for students looking to become a cheese-maker

The Royal Agricultural Farms


University of Guelph Cheese Making Course

Conestoga College

Janice Groenheide Quotes

[When asked about if she always planned to stay in agriculture] I’ve always kind of had one foot still in the game. Even when I wasn’t really active in it I have always have been involved in the kind of the peripheries. It certainly has been something that was always gonna be a part of my life.

– Janice Groenheide

Like I did a cheddar recently that I’m anxiously waiting until it’s ready. So that’s one of my favorite things. And the sense of accomplishment to see where we started and where we’ve managed to get to is really cool. To see what we started with and how far we’ve really come is kind of one of the coolest things for me, I think is just kind of realizing that somehow we have made this a reality.

– Janice Groenheide

I have moments of this was a failure. I think that’s kind of normal, everyone goes through those. I’ve certainly had moments where I’ve just felt kind of defeated and frustrated. But I think at least for me having again a husband in this with me and we’re kind of working together helps.

– Janice Groenheide

I don’t think people always realize the amount of time that goes into making a really good cheese. It’s definitely not something you just start in the morning, you make it up, and then that product’s ready to sell right away. It can take months to years to get to the finished product.

– Janice Groenheide

Be open to whatever ideas and opportunities kind of come your way. You never really know what is gonna pop up and something that you may have never thought about in your life may end up being a really, really good opportunity for you.

Be open to new ideas and experiences and don’t be afraid of failure because you don’t learn anything unless you experience how not to do things. Just be open to all sorts of new experiences and never give up.

– Janice Groenheide


This episode of the podcast is supported by CareersNow! CareersNow! is Food and Beverage Ontario’s multi-year workforce development initiative that is connecting students and job seekers with employers in Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry for exciting career opportunities. Check out for more information on exciting jobs, career information, industry mentors and training opportunities for professional development.

This episode of the podcast is brought to you by our Education Partner, Conestoga College. Conestoga College is a leader in polytechnic education and one of Ontario’s fastest growing colleges, delivering a full range of career-focused education, training and applied research programs to prepare students for success in the new knowledge economy and promote economic prosperity throughout our region and across Ontario.

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