Six years ago, I had the honor of going back to school. Before you start envisioning a Rodney Dangerfield ‘80’s movie, I can assure you that it wasn’t that kind of school. Yes, it took place at the renowned party academic institution of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but this was cheese school. The Wisconsin Cheese Tech Short Course, to be exact. I had just joined Nelson-Jameson, Inc. after working in the retail and merchandising industry for a decade, and I needed to learn about the core business of my new employer. So, like many of my colleagues before me, I was sent to Madison for a week of immersive classes provided by the UW’s Center for Dairy Research, one of the world’s premier dairy research institutions with which Nelson-Jameson has always held a close relationship.
Taught over the course of a week, the Cheese Tech Short Course covers cheese making production principles and technology and includes an optional cheese making lab that offers hands-on experience in cheese production. When the CDR describes the course as “intensive”, they aren’t kidding. I used every bit of my high school and college knowledge of chemistry, biology and algebra to comprehend the over two dozen lectures that included topics such as “Secondary Microflora”, “Pasteurization” and “Starter Cultures”. Even seemingly easy-sounding subjects (“Shredding and Slicing”, I’m looking at you), proved to be much more complicated than one would think. I took comfort in the fact that I wasn’t the only novice in our class whose previous experience with cheese mostly revolved around consumption. My classmates ranged from Marketing Directors for Fortune 500 food companies to novice Cheesemakers to QA Managers at local dairies to R&D Executives from foreign countries. To someone new to the food processing world, the diversity of our group clearly demonstrated the importance of the cheese and dairy category in the global food industry and solidified my choice to join a company that contributed so greatly to what was clearly a dynamic and important part of the food production world.
It was a fascinating week that I’ve never forgotten, and the information that I learned served me well in my early days in sales. Now, as a marketer, it’s provided an intellectual foundation for my creative process in communication and promotions. And, as I grow with Nelson-Jameson, the knowledge taken from the Wisconsin Cheese Tech Short Course will surely supplement any role that I may undertake. Turns out that not only does the cheese stand alone, it also stands out.
At Nelson-Jameson, we like to remain involved and in-the-know. We offer continued training for our employees, attend and exhibit at many trade shows, and are involved in networking, educational and philanthropic organizations that range from community-minded to industry-oriented. One of these trade associations to which Nelson-Jameson belongs is FISA, the Food Industry Suppliers Association.
FISA is trade group dedicated to promoting distribution in high purity industries, such as food and beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical, personal care and biotechnology. Its members are comprised of distributors and manufacturers who go to market through distribution. Nelson-Jameson has been involved with FISA since its inception more than 50 years ago, and we’ve found tremendous value in the networking and educational opportunities provided by FISA.
One of these opportunities involves the University of Innovative Distribution, a concentrated educational program focused on the unique needs of the wholesale distribution industry. Sponsored by FISA and other leading industrial trade organizations and in cooperation with Purdue University, UID provides a world-renowned educational experience to wholesale distribution professionals. FISA provides two annual scholarships to UID that are open to employees of member organizations, and we are proud to announce that a Nelson-Jameson team member has once again been awarded one of these scholarships.
Congratulations go to Devon Vogel, our Inventory Solutions Supply Chain Manager/MRO Product Manager, who will be attending UID this March via scholarship. Devon hopes “to use the information gained (at UID) to become a more efficient and innovative category manager, as well as (to become) a positive female role model for other women who are interested in going into the industry.” She’d like to use her educational experience to “contribute to (Nelson-Jameson)…and to providing solutions in the (overall) supply chain.” We couldn’t be prouder of Devon, and are excited to learn from her educational and developmental experiences at UID!
You may have seen our announcement earlier this year that we started working with Cherney Microbiological Services to provide educational opportunities for customers interested in learning more about food safety, sanitation, and a host of other topics.
Well, we are happy to announce that Cherney has released their Cherney College course offerings for 2016!
Contact us at email@example.com or call 800-826-8302 if you would like to learn more about any of the following course offerings or to register (early bird discounts are available for registrations submitted 30 days prior to the course date). Courses are held in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
|Advanced Food Microbiology
||February 24-25, 2016
||March 15, 2016
|Food Safety for Suppliers
||March 16, 2016
|Sanitation and Environmental Monitoring Essentials
||April 13-14, 2016
|Introduction to Food Microbiology – The Basics
||June 8-9, 2016
|Chemistry Analysis in the Food Laboratory
||August 16-17, 2016
||September 21, 2016
|Advanced Food Microbiology
||November 9-10, 2016
Custom on-site training is also available from Cherney; contact us for more information.
Next month, the Wisconsin Laboratory Association (WLA) will be hosting the 39th Annual Educational Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Madison, Wisconsin. As always, the two days will be filled with the most current, important topics that QA and Technical Managers, Laboratory Technicians and anyone involved within the food industry are discussing and need to become more informed about. Click here for agenda and speakers listing.
There will also be approximately 20 exhibitors on-hand that understand laboratory and QA needs and can provide the products that will help make your job more efficient with the newest and best technology available.
WLA’s reputation is that of one of the best educational organizations available to us in the state of Wisconsin! Invest in two of the most informational days you can by joining us September 16 & 17 in Madison. We will be featuring our color-coded products, including the new UST brushes & brooms; data loggers, allergen test kits, 3M Petrifilm and more!
Register here today: http://www.wisconsinlabassociation.org/fallworkshop.htm
Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” In the food industry, this old adage is put to the test each time consumers open up a food product or sit down for a meal. The ability to create a safe and high-quality product demands critical thought, innovation, vigilance, and a willingness to seek out best practices. The return on this investment comes in creating a product one can be proud of and in protecting the best interests and health of one’s customers.
Yet, making sense of regulations, rules, and best practices can be somewhat daunting for the average producer. Small and medium-sized operations especially may view something as comprehensive as the Food Safety Modernization Act as an imposing and confusing path they are not sure how to navigate. So, how can one balance the want for excellence with these sometimes seemingly overwhelming demands placed on food industry interests? Simply put, the best weapon against being overwhelmed comes through education.
Nelson-Jameson is working with Cherney Microbiological Services to provide accessible educational opportunities for operations of all sizes and levels of experience. This April 21st-22nd, consider taking part in “Sanitation and Environmental Monitoring Essentials,” a course for employees involved in facility control programs where attendees will learn about food microbiology, sanitation, and environmental programs in an interactive environment. The course will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin and an early registration discount is available through March 25th ($1195 early or $1295 after March 25th).
Contact us for additional information or to learn more about the course. We would like to know your ideas/thoughts on needed topics that you would like to see addressed in future courses and/or training opportunities, leave a reply in the comments section below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.