HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Feb. 6, 2006

D-C FFA to compete at nationals

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Four Dassel-Cokato FFA members have won the state competition for Food Science and Technology and will be heading to Indianapolis in October.

Sarah Ryan, Becky Amundson, Ryan Urban, and Melissa Benoit competed and won in the Food Science and Technology state competition at Mankato State University on Jan. 13.

This is the third time in the six years Seena Glessing has been teaching at DC that they have gone to nationals.

“There are more jobs than qualified applicants, and the contest is a good way of encouraging students to go in to food science careers,” Glessing said.

There were several components to the competition.

First, the team had to develop a product in 60 minutes. They made a dipping sauce called “Dippity” out of cream cheese, yogurt and raspberries.

They had to come up with packaging, pricing, marketing and nutrition labels for their product.

Then they had to take an individual test to assess the team member’s understanding of the basic food science principles including food safety and sensory evaluation.

This included writing a customer complaint letter. The team had to write a complaint in 15 minutes about a food quality problem and determine whether it was biological, chemical or physical in nature.

The team was then given 10 photos of potential food safety problems and they had to identify them accordingly.

The sensory evaluation was to evaluate food products by aroma, visual cues or textural differences. For example, determining which fruit had more sugar in it.

Each member was scored on an individual level as well as a team.

Urban received first place, Ryan second place, Amundson fourth, and Benoit placed fifth at the state level.

Each team member received a $1,500 scholarship from MSU for their trip to Indianapolis.

“In 2003, DC won nationals and received a $1,000 scholarship, so we wanted to go to nationals and win,” Benoit commented.

“It was fun presenting and seeing the judges’ expressions...we could see how much we really did learn,” Ryan said.

There are many food science careers and MSU has one of the only programs in the state.

As far as careers, “It’s a good way to see what’s out there,” Urban said.

The team will keep busy by preparing for nationals.

Next year, the school will offer a food technology course which teaches students the process of how corn on the cob gets from the field into the grocery stores, for example.

The students will prepare by taking that course and reading books.

By winning the state competition, they get to tour the Hormel factory in Austin, Minn. this summer.

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