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The Food Industry Center

News & Events


2nd Annual Minnesota Food Producers Luncheon

Thursday, May 22, 2014
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Maroon & Gold Room, McNamara Alumni Center

The luncheon will highlight three Minnesota food businesses who work with Minnesota producers as part of their supply chains. Last year we spotlighted Old Dutch, Green Giant, and GNP Company. This year we are spotlighting Faribault Foods, AMPI, and Sun-Opta.

Link to brochure. (PDF)

The luncheon is limited to 75 people so please reserve your place at the luncheon and RSVP by May 14, 2014 at: https://mnfoodproducersluncheon14.eventbrite.com


The Food Industry Center (TFIC) Luncheon Series


Check back next Fall for next year's series events.


Previous events in the series:


Thursday, April 10, 2014, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - This event has been cancelled!

Steve Young, Vice President/Business Unit Director, Yoplait USA, will discuss "Marketing Yogurt Products"


Wedneday, March 26, 2014, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Megan Speas, Marketing Director, Horizon Milling, will discuss "Whole Grains and Fiber"Megan_Speas_jpg

The issue of whole grains and additional fiber has become an important one for food manufacturers. Cargill, an important North American flour miller through its joint venture in Horizon Milling, provides solutions for buyers looking for such ingredients in their products.

Megan Speas is director of marketing for Horizon Milling. In this role, Megan oversees the Horizon Milling marketing team spanning multiple geographies and product lines. Their responsibilities include building marketplace knowledge, leading strategy, creating an innovation pipeline and communicating our brands and positioning. Megan joined Cargill in 2002 and has held various marketing positions within Horizon Milling and Dry Corn Ingredients. Megan was the bakery category marketing manager in FIS before joining Horizon Milling as director of marketing in 2009. Prior to joining Cargill, Megan held marketing and sales analyst positions at Sara Lee, Pillsbury and Canadian Pacific Railway. Megan graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Minnesota.

Complimentary buffet lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m.

Please RSVP by Monday morning, March 24th.

Cherrywood Room
St. Paul Student Center, Top (2nd) Floor
2017 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108


Thursday, February 27, 2014, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Tom Forysthe, Vice President, Global Communications, General Mills, will discuss "General Mills and the GMO-free Cheerios"Tom Forsythe Photo.jpg

General Mills announced in January 2014 that it had developed a supply chain for its breakfast cereal Cheerios that was now GMO-free. No research has found or suggested that have any health or safety concerns. Why then did General Mills develop such a supply chain?

Tom Forsythe leads global communications for one of the world’s leading consumer products companies.

At General Mills, Forsythe is responsible for public relations, media relations, employee communications, crisis communications, issues management, corporate reputation, corporate brand management and consumer services globally.

Forsythe is a former State University Board trustee, a former member of the Minnesota Health Care Commission and the Governor’s Health Care Transformation Taskforce, and helped launch the Buyers Health Care Action Group. He is also a past chair of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Complimentary buffet lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m.

Please RSVP by Monday morning, Feb. 24th.

Cherrywood Room
St. Paul Student Center, Top (2nd) Floor
2017 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108


Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Chad Unger, Eaton, will discuss “Complexity in Supply Chains."Chad Unger.jpg

Chad is going to discuss an example of a food industry supply chain and how demand planning leads to managing the supply chain for that product. He will discuss how the Great Recession of 2008 has brought new challenges for global supply chains.

Chad Unger is currently the Director of Supply Chain, responsible for the Americas region within the Hydraulics business. His responsibilities include demand planning, supply planning, materials management, and supplier management. Prior to working for Eaton, Chad held various supply chain and engineering roles within Cummins, Inc. and Eli Lilly. He has an engineering undergraduate degree and MBA from Purdue University.

Complimentary buffet lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m.
Please RSVP by Monday morning, Oct. 28th.

Ruttan Hall, Room 119
1994 Buford Avenue
U of MN St. Paul Campus
St. Paul, MN 55108


Thursday, October 10, 2013, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

John Bhend, formerly at Wells Fargo, will discuss "Current Issues in
US Agricultural Trade with China"John Bhend.jpg

John will discuss the recent investments by China in agriculture and provide some outlook on issues affecting US agricultural trade with China.

Until recently, John was a Sr. Ag Industry Specialist with Wells Fargo Bank working in Southeastern Minnesota with an office in Dodge Center, Minnesota. He has also farmed, worked for Ameriprise, and for Hy-Vee Food stores.

Complimentary buffet lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m.
Please RSVP by Monday morning, Oct. 9th.

Cherrywood Room
St. Paul Student Center, Top (2nd) Floor
2017 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108


Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Professor Michael (Mike) Boland will discuss
"Food Geography and Farmer-Owned Food Brands"Michael Boland - cropped.jpg

Is Parmesan cheese made in a green container or an 84 pound wheel of cheese made in Emilia-Romagna and Mantova Italy? Is Mexican-styled guacamole made with avocados or corn sweeteners? Is Italian Mortadella Bologna the same as bologna cold cuts? These and other food geography issues as well as farmer-owned brands will be discussed by Dr. Boland.

Michael Boland (Mike) holds the Koller endowed Professorship in agribusiness management at the University of Minnesota where he has teaching, research, and outreach responsibilities in agribusiness management, food marketing, and in particular, agricultural cooperatives. In addition, he is director of the University of Minnesota Food Industry Center agricultural and food business management degree.

Complimentary buffet lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m.
Please RSVP by Monday morning, Sept. 23rd. - Deadline has passed.

Cherrywood Room
St. Paul Student Center, Top (2nd) Floor
2017 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108


Agricultural Economics Seminars

2012-2013 seminars

(No registration necessary to attend Agricultural Economics Seminars)

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