May 9, 2013

Contact: Tom Johnson, Program Manager
Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology
California Polytechnic State University

Cal Poly Launches Master’s Program in Dairy Products Technology

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly today announced the opening of an innovative, industry-focused master’s degree program in Dairy Products Technology.

The one-year program will provide students with the skills and credentials needed to become leaders in the fast-growing dairy manufacturing sector. Graduates will find employment opportunities with large cheese and yogurt producers, fluid milk operations, and whey processors.

The program’s students will earn a Master of Professional Studies, which is an applied, project-based degree. The MPS degree is gaining popularity with universities across the country.

“We're training plant managers and production supervisors for larger-scale dairy processing operations,” said Bruce Golden, head of Cal Poly’s Dairy Sciences Department. “We developed this program in response to requests from our business partners, who tell us there is a need for trained leaders in their industry.”

The program was funded with a $5 million contribution from Denver-based Leprino Foods Co., which continues to seek adequately trained employees to serve as managers in its facilities. Other dairy processors have voiced similar objectives.

“We are excited about the opportunities that this program will create,” said Leprino Vice Chairman Dan Vecchiarelli.

The first class of students is being recruited now and will begin studies this fall. The program will involve nine months of coursework, on campus in San Luis Obispo, Calif., followed by a three-month internship with a large-scale dairy processor. Graduates of the program could expect beginning salaries in the $60,000-65,000 range.

The university is accepting applications from prospective students and hopes to line up 10 qualified students for this fall’s inaugural class. The program eventually will enroll and graduate about 25 students per year.

The ideal candidate for the program is a college graduate with leadership skills, critical thinking skills, and an analytical degree (chemistry, physics, biology, engineering). Other candidates include dairy and food science grads, current employees at dairy processing facilities, junior military officers, and manufacturing managers pursuing retraining opportunities.

More information about the program, including application instructions and program costs, can be found at: