ADPI’s Academic Institution membership category seeks to draw more students into dairy careers with education and networking opportunities.
Academic institutions that are committed to the research and teaching of dairy science, food science and more are invited to join ADPI through this membership category. Through this partnership, ADPI says it hopes to strengthen the ties between academia and research with the real-time opportunities and challenges of the dairy ingredients industry, focusing on the following:
- Attracting more students into dairy careers;
- Providing better access to networking and career opportunities with ADPI member companies.
- Providing additional training and resources for faculty, staff and students.
- Providing opportunities for research to be communicated to industry and funding opportunities to increase.
- Providing scholarship opportunities that include academic institution members.
“We started with four to five schools and put a task force together — our board is very supportive of this initiative,” says Blake Anderson, president and CEO, ADPI. “We are excited to say that 17 universities are currently taking advantage of membership with ADPI so far.”
KJ Burrington, ADPI’s vice president of technical development, says the purpose of an ADPI Academic Institution membership is to draw more students into dairy careers by getting them closer to the dairy industry and providing resources for them to enhance their dairy knowledge as well as a network that leads to internships and employment.
“We encourage all interested schools to apply for an ADPI Academic Institute membership and take advantage of the member benefits available to their students, faculty and staff,” she says.
Currently, ADPI’s main focus in growing this membership category has been engaging with schools that have a food science department with some dairy focus, she adds. However, as this ADPI membership category grows and evolves, ADPI also recognizes the importance of connecting and engaging institutions who have limited or no dairy curriculum.
“ADPI sees this as an important gap that needs to be filled in order to keep the next generation involved in the dairy ingredients sector,” Burrington says.
“Through the development of educational programs, such as ADPI’s Dairy Ingredients 360 Training Course, ADPI has the ability to provide these students with the exposure and connections to the dairy industry that are not provided to them within their universities.” She notes the dairy industry hires students from many different degrees, not just dairy-related. “By engaging other departments within each university, we hope to attract students with degrees in business, finance, marketing, engineering, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, food science and many others,” she says.
In order to join, a school simply needs a faculty member to fill out an application, available online at www.adpi.org.
Once approved by the ADPI board, each faculty member or student can register for a user name and password to access the member-only resources and tools available on the ADPI website.
“We ask that the school be engaged in ADPI activities and participate in our events,” Burrington says. “For example, in March we will be holding the 24th Dairy Ingredients Technical Symposium, and for the first time, all of the academic speakers are members of ADPI.”
Students from ADPI Academic Institution member schools also become eligible to apply for ADPI scholarships that are awarded every year during the organization’s annual conference, she notes.
To date, ADPI has done personal outreach to schools where it has had past connections or engagement with faculty members.
“Our member organizations are now getting involved and introducing this membership to schools in which they are alumni, and we will be promoting this membership category during 2023 through marketing efforts and articles such as this one,” Burrington says.
Anderson notes ADPI will create special rates for university faculty, staff and students to attend ADPI conferences, seminars, forums and other events. For more information, visit www.adpi.org.