Johnsonville Sausage gives $500,000 to Lakeland University’s new food safety program

Gift will fund new on-campus lab

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:23 pm

Johnsonville Sausage LLC has given Lakeland University $500,000 to help fund the school’s new food safety and quality bachelor’s degree program.

The gift from Johnsonville will fund a new state-of-the-art, on-campus lab to allow for hands-on experience and real work replication; transporting students to Johnsonville facilities for real work experiences; and educational trips to food companies, as well as other programs costs.

The program is the first of its kind in the nation, the school said.

“We are so thankful to Johnsonville for being a corporate partner in this program and making this generous investment in our shared vision,” said Lakeland President David Black. “Johnsonville’s investment is an example of the partnership we are developing with local companies who are dedicated to developing the curriculum needed in this major to create a premier and sought-after degree in the food industry.

The food safety and quality program blends the science of biology and chemistry with best business practices to prepare students for careers in food processing, the school said. Unlike a food science degree, which prepares students for food research and development, the food safety and quality program focuses on the safe production of food.

The gift comes as Lakeland expands its cooperative education program, which allows students to gain professional work experience with area companies, while earning both academic credit and money to minimize post-graduate student debt.

“More employers are joining us to grow our Cooperative Education Program as we reinvent the way we deliver a college education,” said Black.

The program is pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission. Coursework has been developed in partnership with local companies.

“Johnsonville is excited to partner with Lakeland to create a unique degree in the food industry combining science, technology and business acumen to enhance food safety and production throughout the entire industry,” said Michael Stayer-Suprick, president of Johnsonville Sausage – International. “This will be a great opportunity for many in the years to come as they look for exciting and rewarding careers.”

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