Western Dairy Center Industry Membership

Innovation in the dairy industry is an essential component of being competitive in an increasingly global and expanding food industry. As consumer lifestyles and preferences change the successful companies will adapt to change as part of their core business strategies. New products, new markets, and new technologies, along with increased manufacturing efficiency, will all play a role in determining the future of the US dairy industry.

The Western Dairy Center is a research and technology resource for today's dairy industry. A key component to building the needed dairy food expertise in the western states and throughout the nation, is the education of students who will be our future innovators. Involving students in research that is relevant to the dairy industry has been a long tradition at Utah State University. I invite you to partner with us, as we go forward and with hard work, convert new ideas and fresh minds into real solutions and technical skills that can make a difference.

Your company can participate in Western Dairy Center research and technology activities in a variety of ways that meet your specific needs. We can help your product development move forward through pilot plant trials and sensory analysis of your new and existing products. There are also a variety of workshops that we offer throughout the year and we are working to bring more training opportunities here to the western states. Becoming an industry member of the Western Dairy Center can help keep you informed of the latest in research outcomes, provides basic support to our Center program, and lower usage rates and fees for pilot plant trial, sensory analysis testing, and workshop attendance.

Members of our Dairy Research Advisory Board (DRAB) fund student research and participate in selecting areas of interest and approving the research projects. At this level of Center support, you receive larger discounts on Center services and have increased opportunities to interact with our Center's researchers and students. We have recognized the need for bringing technically skilled people into the dairy industry and have developed our Center-Industry Partnership (CIP) program to help meet that need. With your financial support, we can design a student research project that is focused on your specific areas of interest, and recruit a student who after graduating can provide you with the technical knowledge and skills suitable for your company's future needs. A unique part of the CIP program is that students are required to make regular progress reports to the sponsoring company, and can also undertake an internship with the CIP sponsor as part of their program of study.

Both the DRAB and the CIP programs have been successful in the past and we believe they will continue to make a difference in the future. Your investment in the Western Dairy Center can be the starting point needed to bring about new innovations and develop technical solutions for today's challenges.

- Donald J. McMahon
Director, Western Dairy Center


Western Dairy Center Industry Membership

Annual Subscription: $5,000 (provides infrastructure support to the Center)

Benefits to Center Members:

  • Pilot plant trials in Gary Haight Richardson Dairy Products
    • Priority scheduling
    • 30% discount on standard usage fee (excluding milk and material costs)
    • Up to 3 days/year
  • Training
    • Preference for registration at short courses and workshops
    • 30% discount on workshop registrations, up to 3 per year
  • Sensory taste panel
    • 30% discount for up to 3 panels
  • Annual Report
    • Based on quarterly and annual project reports
  • Dairy Foods Symposium and Biennial Cheese Industry Conference
    • Free attendance as part of Center annual meeting for 1 person
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Western Dairy Center Dairy Research Advisory Board Membership

Annual Subscription: $15,000 ($5,000 membership + $10,000)


  • Provides funding to support graduate student research projects.
    • Annual student costs include:
      • In-state tuition, $5,000
      • Out-of-state tuition, $6,000
      • Health Insurance, $2,000
      • Masters student stipend, $12,000
      • Ph.D. student stipend, $18,000
    • 2 years for Masters student, 3 years for PhD student.
  • Research projects address important issues in the dairy industry.
  • Projects can address efficiency and yield, as well as human consmption.


Benefits to Board members:

  • All benefits of Western Dairy Center membership.
  • Additional discounts on Western Dairy Center services:
    • 50% discount on usage fee for pilot plant trials, up to 5 days/year.
    • 50% discount on workshop registrations, up to 5 per year.
    • 50% discount on sensory analysis panels, up to 5 per year.
    • Free attendance at Biennial cheese confernce and dairy symposium for up to 3 people as part of the Western Dairy Center annual meeting.
  • Research projects developed with input from Board members.
  • Research projects focus on areas of most interest to Board members.
  • Research projects are not limited to only Dairy Management Inc. priority areas or the restrictions on use of dairy check-off funds.
  • Opportunity to approve projects funded by the Board.
  • The Center works to leverage funds from within the University (such as in-state and out-of state tuition costs) to allow more projects to be funded.
  • There is an increase in the number of graduating students who have knowledge of areas important to the industry as well as having completed their technical training.


Western Dairy Center Industry Partnership

Annual Subscription: $30,000 ($5,000 membership + $25,000)


  • Provides funding to support graduate student research projects
    • 2 years for Masters student, 3 years for PhD student
  • Provides one-on-one contact between the student and the sponsoring partner.
  • Increases the number of graduating students with technical expertise in the fields of interest of the Industry partner.
  • Incorporates an internship opportunity within the research program for the student and Industry partner.

Benefits to Industry Partner:

  • Membership in the Dairy Research Advisory Board.
  • Research area is selected by the Industry partner.
  • The research can include a portion that is kept proprietary to the Industry partner.
  • Student selection takes into account the interests of the Industry partner.
  • The Industry partner receives semi-annual reports of the student's research and can provide input throughout the research program.
  • The Industry partner has the opportunity work with the student during an internship as part of the Center Industry Partnership program.
  • Development of an associations between the student (and their advising professor) and the Industry partner during the research program and the internship, can help the Industry partner in recruitment of technical personnel.