Growing World Market for Dairy Products Signals Opportunity for MPS Students

ccoaThis week, Department Head Bruce Golden and I traveled to Lake Tahoe for the 2013 California Creamery Operators Association Annual Meeting.

Between sessions, we had the opportunity to speak with several key players in the California dairy industry about our new MPS program. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Several officials from California’s most successful dairy processing companies (and best employers!) offered their support in the form of student sponsorships, internships, and program guidance.

Dr. Golden and I also enjoyed presentations related to milk pricing, industry regulation, and market trends. U.S. Congressman David Valadao discussed the future of the Farm Bill. California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross reviewed progress on the ongoing state-level efforts to ensure a a durable, stable dairy industry.

One presentation that resonated with us was delivered by Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Mr. Suber shared compelling data that revealed a sustained and growing gap between world dairy supply and demand. Due to increasing consumption of dairy products in Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, demand is expected to exceed supply for years to come.

This translates into market opportunity for dairy producers and processors. Relatively low domestic production costs uniquely position the U.S. dairy industry to capitalize on that opportunity.

Already U.S. dairy processors are tapping world demand for their products. Dairy exports are growing at double-digit rates to countries as diverse as South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

For Cal Poly MPS students, this translates into strong employment prospects well into the future. In order to meet world demand for dairy products, dairy processors are expected to continue to expand capacity and construct new processing facilities. Each new facility requires a workforce capable of running it. Cal Poly MPS grads will be equipped with a unique set of skills that makes them competitive for these new jobs created.

Our industry partners tell us that finding qualified people to manage their facilities is among their greatest challenges. This, in a nutshell, is why Cal Poly’s MPS program exists. We are in the business of training the next generation of dairy plant managers and supervisors. With the help of our industry partners, we will ensure that the Cal Poly MPS grad has the skills industry needs to be competitive in the global marketplace.

What an exciting time to be in the dairy industry!

Tom Johnson, Program Manager
Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology

MPS program featured in Cal Poly Mustang Daily

On Tuesday, Cal Poly’s Mustang Daily newspaper published a cover story about the university’s new MPS in Dairy Products Technology program.

Journalism students Sean McMinn and Maggie Kaiersman interviewed program manager Tom Johnson and Dairy Sciences department head Bruce Golden for the story.

The story can be seen in its entirety at:

Mustang Daily Cover Story

The students also produced a video story about the program that is expected to air on Cal Poly TV in the next few days. The video can be seen here:

MPS Facility construction coming along

Today I toured the MPS program’s facility construction site with Bruce Golden, head of Cal Poly’s Dairy Science department. The structure is an addition to the Leprino Foods Dairy Innovation Institute, located on the northwest corner of the Cal Poly campus.

MPS Construction

Through the dust and debris, we were able to discern the bones of a world-class teaching facility. The centerpiece of the facility is an instruction lab that will feature benches and hoods, moveable worktables, and high tech communications equipment. The lab’s proximity to the existing dairy processing area will open up unparalleled learning opportunities.

Just down the hall from the instruction center is my new office. My windows will look out at Bishop Peak and the picturesque valley below. We’re fortunate to have such a beautiful place to work and learn together.

Construction is coming along, and as far as we’re concerned, it can’t conclude soon enough. The folks in charge assure us the building will be ready in time for our program kickoff this fall.

If you’re interested in joining us, make sure to submit your application soon. We’ve begun reviewing applications and will soon set about assembling the program’s inaugural class!

Best wishes for a rewarding career,

Tom Johnson, Program Manager
Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology

Apply now for our new Master’s degree program in Dairy Products Technology!

Do you have a technical degree but aren’t sure what your next steps should be?

If you could increase your lifetime salary potential by investing in one more year of education, would you do it?

Do you aspire to be a leader?

Does the idea of spending a productive year in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California appeal to you?

If you answered yes to these questions, I encourage you to take a look at Cal Poly’s new Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Dairy Products Technology program. This one-year course of study is designed to prepare students from technical disciplines for management careers in dairy foods manufacturing.

Our industry partners tell us abundant opportunities await graduates. How good are these opportunities? Starting salaries for graduates could be as high as $60,000 per year.

The MPS program will involve nine months of course work on campus in San Luis Obispo, followed by a three-month internship with a large-scale dairy processor.

If you are interested in applying, don’t delay. We have limited openings for the fall class, and applications are now coming in!

Best wishes for a rewarding career,

Tom Johnson, Program Manager
Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology