Investing in future bakers
by Joanie Spencer
At Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, the Bakery Science and Management program, led by Prof. David Krishock, is challenging the next generation of bakers. Critical to the program is the bakery sciences lab, located in the lower level of the university’s Shellenberger Hall. From researching test formulas for lectures to baking product for the Bakery Science Club’s (BSC) weekly retail sales, the Shellenberger lab sees more foot traffic — and heavier use — than any other lab in the department.
With so much activity, especially from students preparing to enter the baking and snack food industry, proper equipment is paramount to success. And although most bakery equipment is built to last, the lab is due for a facelift, according to Kerwin Brown, president, BEMA, Overland Park, KS. Mr. Brown discovered the need for upgrading the lab after the K-State Advisory Committee met with a panel of students, asking for their input.
“We were hearing about how much the students enjoyed the program and the passion of the faculty, but as the Advisory Committee dug deeper, there was a consistent theme of issues with the lab’s equipment,” Mr. Brown said. “They need a functioning lab for classes and for the BSC to bake and sell to raise money for trips, and the equipment is not reliable. So we started brainstorming and decided BEMA can do something about this.”
As a result, BEMA formed the Investing in Our Future initiative to procure new (or newer) equipment as well as endow a maintenance fund for repairs on current production equipment.
For this initiative, Mr. Krishock explained, students must communicate exactly what the equipment needs are. In his Bakery Layout and Design class this semester, Mr. Krishock assigned the student to work in teams to design a new bakery lab and research area for a potential new building on the north side of campus. In one component of this project, which spans the entire spring semester, students will indicate what specific equipment they would like to see for teaching, research and production use in the lab. Preliminary designs reveal a need for a new rack oven, roll-in proof box, moveable workbenches and an updated wire cut cookie machine.
Mr. Brown indicated that companies or individuals can make donations through BEMA, which will work directly with the KSU Foundation to fill out the appropriate in-kind donation paperwork. BEMA currently awards $7,500 in scholarships to three Kansas State bakery students each year, at $2,500 per student. For more information on the initiative or to make a donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.