Why Cal Poly?











Why should you attend Cal Poly’s MPS program?

Never mind the following:

  • We’re training students for management positions in large-scale dairy processing facilities
  • Dairy experience is not required
  • There is strong industry demand for our graduates
  • Our program is designed in partnership with and guided by employers
  • Students will interface with high-level industry executives
  • Starting salaries for our graduates will be in the $60,000-65,000 range
  • Students will participate in paid internships after only nine months
  • Students will graduate with a Master’s degree in only 12 months
  • Dairy processing is technologically-sophisticated and engineering-driven
  • Dairy processing is a high-growth, international industry resistant to economic downturns

Forget all of that. You should attend because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and it’s 70 degrees and sunny in San Luis Obispo!

Now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 School Year

Cal Poly’s Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology program  is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year.

If you think you might be who a good fit for our program, please contact me as soon as possible. We seek 15 qualified students for the 2014 cohort and will begin reviewing applications in the coming weeks.

To learn more, please visit http://mpsdairy.calpoly.edu/application.html or call me at (805) 756-6148.

Good luck!

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

Fall is in the air!

MPS students at Madox Dairy

Greetings from beautiful San Luis Obispo! Fall is in the air, which means we’re all getting back to work – and for our new MPS students, that means hitting the books!

I’m excited to tell you that Cal Poly’s Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology program is now in full swing. Our first cohort of students started classes in September and is already showing great promise.

During the first weeks of the school year, our students have juggled classes and lab sessions, attended guest lectures and taken field trips to California’s Central Valley – home to America’s premier dairy herds and processing facilities.

This quarter, our students are focused on learning Dairy Chemistry, Dairy Microbiology,  and Dairy Foods Manufacturing. Class time has been supplemented with regular visits to Cal Poly’s creamery to learn about the equipment used in dairy processing.

We’ve also had the opportunity to tour Maddox Dairy – a 12,000-cow dairy farm in Riverdale, California, and Leprino Foods’ Lemoore, California facility – the largest Mozzarella production facility in the world.  At this one plant, Leprino Foods produces more than a million pounds of cheese daily!

In the coming weeks, I’ll introduce you to some of our students and faculty. Please stay tuned.


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

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: