Cal Poly Dairy Science Receives Leprino Funding

US - Cal Poly's Dairy Science Department will receive $5 million from Denver-based Leprino Foods Company.
calendar icon 9 June 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The pledge will be paid over the next two years and will support an endowed faculty position, cover costs to remodel dairy science teaching laboratories, and provide initial start-up costs for a new master’s degree programme.

The first of its kind in the United States, the new Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Foods degree programme will include classroom study, hands-on production and an industry externship. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to enter California’s dairy foods industry.

Recognising Cal Poly’s hands-on programme as an essential component in the training they seek for their employees, Leprino Foods believes this partnership is critical to the goal of developing the next generation of dairy industry leaders. Leprino Foods, which operates three plants in California, has, for many years, had great success hiring Cal Poly Dairy Science graduates. The company is also a research partner through the Dairy Products and Technology Center (DPTC) and buys milk from Cal Poly’s dairy.

“Leprino Foods and Cal Poly have always been committed to innovation in the dairy industry, and Leprino Foods is excited about this opportunity. This investment will help develop the future talent in our industry,” said Dan Vecchiarelli, Vice Chairman of the Board, Leprino Foods.

Cal Poly President, Jeffrey D. Armstrong believes the partnership is a crucial accomplishment in Cal Poly's overall effort to attract the best talent possible and to address the needs of the growing dairy industry.

He said: “We are proud that Leprino Foods has selected Cal Poly as a long-term partner, and its commitment will inspire other industry leaders to join in support of the dairy.”

Valued at $63 billion in economic activity for the state and nearly $7 billion in dairy farm receipts, the California dairy industry was responsible for more than 443,000 jobs in 2008.

Dairy Science Department Head, Bruce Golden, says the pledge will help the university meet its mission to supply students to California’s workforce.

He commented: “With this contribution, Cal Poly will expand its dairy science programmes, better support the dairy foods industry, and produce future leaders who are ready to work on day one.”

Commenting on the joint effort between the university and one of the world’s leading cheese and dairy ingredients producers, California Dairy Research Foundation Executive Director, Joe O’Donnell said: “Cal Poly listens to the needs of the dairy industry, and continues to deliver.”

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