Dairy Products Technology Center celebrated 25 years with mini-symposium at Cal Poly

Dairy Products Technology Center Published on 16 November 2012


On Oct. 25, as part of its 25-year celebration, the Dairy Products Technology Center (DPTC) held a mini-symposium organized by Rafael Jiménez-Flores at the Cal Poly campus.

The topic of the symposium was Dairy Products Technology and Future Innovation Opportunities and leaders from both universities and allied industry provided their insights on the future of the dairy industry.

Norm Olson, professor emeritus of the University of Wisconsin and founding director of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research gave a historical perspective of the dairy industry and how far research and education have come.

This was followed by Dave Barbano, professor of food science at Cornell University and the director of the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center, who shared his perspective of the university’s role both today and in the future.

He spoke of the future of teaching, research, and extension, and the university’s role in innovating the dairy industry. Barbano highlighted the need for industry to play an active role on university advisory boards.

“The industry needs to recognize that the university dairy faculty are an important part of the future for the dairy industry, the industry needs to support and guide them, and their focus and development for the industry.”

For the industry perspective, CEO and President of Hilmar Cheese, John Jeter, outlined the innovation needs of the dairy industry in California.

In terms of academic partnerships, he said, “We appreciate the abilities that the universities have, Cal Poly in particular, to really expand our knowledge. I know that we work more and more with your staff here on specific projects to help us meet our customers’ needs.”

The symposium concluded with short presentations and roundtable discussion that included Larry Jensen, CEO of Leprino Foods; Erika Smith, senior principal scientist with General Mills, and Bill Graves, senior vice president of the Dairy Research Institute.

After the presentations, the floor was opened up for questions where, again, there was emphasis on the need for future innovation, leadership, partnerships, globalization and changing consumer needs.

According to symposium organizer Jimenez-Flores, “It was delightful to see 'legendary' professors such as Norm Olson and Dave Barbano on our campus. All of the speakers from industry were also very eloquent and appreciative of the work of DPTC.

"After the conclusion of the Mini-Symposium, I have gotten great comments from the full house of undergraduate students who attended. This is very important, since the message from President Armstrong highlighted the benefits of DPTC to students and Cal Poly.”

Click here to read more about the symposium and the other events held as part of the DPTC 25-year celebration. PD

—From Dairy Products Technology Center news release

Rafael Jimenez welcoming the 100-plus mini-symposium attendees. Photo courtesy of Dairy Products Technology Center.

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