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Dairy Store provides delicious food and meets MSU teaching, research, and outreach goals

John Engstrom manages the Dairy Complex at MSU. He talks about some of the favorite ice creams and cheeses produced for the MSU Dairy Store.

The Dairy Store helps meet the teaching, research, and outreach needs of the university community and dairy food industry as well as providing the great food items. While it’s operated as an outlet for products manufactured in the dairy plant at MSU, the Dairy Store also is a focal point for educational and public relations activities for the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

“The whole purpose of us being here is to give the students a hands-on experience in the dairy plant,” says Engstrom. “Our mission isn’t only to send product to our Dairy Store, but also to do teaching and research.”

What makes the Dairy Store ice cream so good?

“It’s because we love what we do; we put a lot of love into our products. We keep it simple, which leads to a clean flavor. Plus it’s a pretty high-fat product, and we keep it a little bit on the sweet side.”

Engstrom gives me a tour of the dairy plant starting in the raw receiving room, where raw milk and pasteurized cream enter the plant. Then we head to the raw processing room and pasteurized side of the plant. “This is where we make all of our product.”

Engstrom says “well over 10,000 people a year come here to watch us make product” from an observation deck in the plant.

The tour ends in the hardening room “where we finish hardening all of our ice cream and where we store it, too.”

Engstrom loves his job.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love coming here. I love making product. I love watching the smiles on people’s faces. It’s a great life.”

MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.

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