Welcomer quoted in Press Herald article on retiring cheesemakers

The Portland Press Herald interviewed Stephanie Welcomer, a professor of management at the University of Maine, for an article about the retirement of York Hill Farm’s cheesemakers. John and Penny Duncan, makers of award-winning goat cheese, quietly retired in October after four decades in the business, according to the article. Welcomer, whose work focuses on the intersection of sustainable businesses, communities and environment, co-wrote an in-depth study of challenges and opportunities facing Maine’s artisan cheesemakers. One of the recommendations of the report, which was published in Maine Policy Review last year, was that an emphasis on succession planning is needed since a number of other Maine cheesemakers will soon be reaching retirement age. “If they retire and their brand and know-how just kind of evaporates, it’s a loss not just to their customers and their community but to the state,” Welcomer said. Selling a business like York Hill Farm is more than just an economic exchange, the article states. “They really want to pass on their competencies and brands to someone that shares their values,” Welcomer said.