The design and operational strategies of a sequencing batch moving bed biofilm reactor (SB-MBBR) to achieve nitrification in a food processing effluent characterized with high C:N:P ratio was investigated. The SB-MBBR operated an anaerobic/aerobic/anoxic (AOA) stage sequence aimed at removing both carbon and nutrients from the effluent. The potential to utilize an SB-MBBR has not been previously investigated for the treatment of cheese making effluent. Carbon removal was feasible in the SB-MBBR (98% removal) directly with two operational strategies further investigated for nitrification. The two strategies investigated were extending the aeration cycle and utilizing a second SB-MBBR in series to achieve nitrification. The first operational strategy required 33 days for the system to adapt and for nitrification to occur. The time required to achieve nitrification rendered this option infeasible. The second operational strategy confirmed that separating the carbon and ammonia removal resulted in the high removal of both compounds.