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People Who Care: Spreadin’ The Cheese

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Jackie Bannon and Liam Arthur spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinners for friends and family.

Their work is to fulfill a dream--a somewhat cheesy dream--that'll take them to Ethiopia where they'll embark on a five-year project to build an artisan cheese company. They hope the company will provide jobs and improve lives.

Liam Arthur says, "It's about giving people the power to do what they want for themselves."

Ethiopia has no major cheesemaking industry at the moment. The new cheese company, called Agere Cheese, will work with about 100 dairy farm families to fill the gap.

Jackie Bannon says, "Yes, it's a massive project. It's to give people more opportunities and to help people realize how capable they are."

Jackie just finished training with a cheesemaker-mentor near Northfield, Minnesota. Liam is a chef from New Zealand with cheesemaking experience under his belt. They'll be the support system; the project will be built by Ethiopians and for Ethiopians.

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Tom Overlie

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