The Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), Tillamook, Ore., gifted $1.5 million to support construction of a new food and beverage facility at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

The planned facility, part of OSU’s Department of Food Science and Technology, will include space for innovative research, testing and teaching related to Oregon’s dairy industry and other food and beverage industries.

As part of OSU’s Oregon Quality Food and Beverage Products Initiative, the new dairy processing facility will include an automated, small-scale dairy manufacturing plant with state-of-the-art equipment for production of cheese, ice cream, cultured products and dairy-based powders. There will be a contemporary lab and classroom facilities to ensure educational experiences and enhanced research facilities for both student training and industry collaborations.

The new dairy facility will establish even greater emphasis on manufacturing for undergraduates. Graduate students will engage in high-level technical dairy research.

“We are extremely grateful to be part of such a thriving food and beverage industry here in Oregon, and to operate in a state that has such strong education and research partners,” says Patrick Criteser, TCCA’s president and CEO. “This donation demonstrates our confidence in OSU to train the next generation of dairy scientists, and to partner with other companies around the region to advance the industry in a significant way.”

“OSU’s dairy foods program is well-positioned to drive future success by providing a well-trained professional workforce, extension assistance to processors and research focused on the needs of regional dairies,” says Lisbeth Goddik, professor and leader of OSU’s dairy processing program. “OSU thanks the TCCA for helping us grow the Northwest dairy industry.”