I owe my love of milk and cheese to raising Nubian goats and dairy replacement heifers in 4-H in San Jacinto, California. I studied Dairy Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and decided to study in a country famous for dairy product research for my junior year at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. I then headed east for my Master’s in Food Science at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (working on animal drug residue detection in milk with Rusty Bishop) then south to Louisiana State University for my Ph.D. in Dairy Science (working on low-fat Cheddar with John McGregor). After 11 years at General Mills working as a product developer in the Yoplait, International and Snacks divisions, I decided to return to work on cheese and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Department of Food Science and Nutrition in 2008. In addition to my research on dairy products and ingredients in my labs, I am the faculty advisor to the Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center, the Associate Director of the Midwest Dairy Food Research Center, I judge local and national dairy product contests, and I coach the collegiate dairy product evaluation contest team.
I teach Food Quality, Food Product Development and Dairy Product Chemistry and Technology at the University of Minnesota
I provide custom training on dairy sensory, manufacturing and quality topics as well as scientific consulting.