Bonnie Ford accepts the 2013 Dairy Laboratory of the Year Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Bonnie Ford, quality assurance laboratory specialist in Penn State's Department of Food Science, recently accepted the 2013 Dairy Laboratory of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians.

Ford is responsible for the operation of the Berkey Creamery's Dairy Testing Laboratory. Her duties include conducting microbiological and compositional analyses on raw milk as well as the products made in the creamery's production plant.

Ford summarizes data and reports analytical results to the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services. She also conducts tours of the production plant for visitors.

An employee of the University for more than 36 years, Ford holds a bachelor's degree in agronomy and a master's degree in animal science from Penn State. She has authored numerous published papers on dairy food quality assurance.

Ford conducts educational presentations during Penn State's highly acclaimed Ice Cream Short Course, Ice Cream 101 course, Sanitation Short Course, Cultured Products Short Course and Pasteurizer Operator's Workshop. She also is involved with numerous food science courses, instructing students in laboratory experiments and techniques.

"Her dedication, loyalty, accuracy and attention to detail are unparalleled in my 33 years in dairy plant management," said Thomas Palchak, Berkey Creamery manager. "Bonnie was our first laboratory director to become fully certified, and her due-diligence was invaluable in obtaining certification of our laboratory facility.

"Our dairy production employees rely on her judgment and problem-solving skills. Bonnie is highly respected in our department and throughout the dairy industry. Though she prefers to work behind the scenes, her efforts do not go unrecognized."

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Last Updated May 13, 2013