Name: Bailey Petersen,
Hometown: Danbury, IA
Major and Graduation Date: Animal Science May 2015
Favorite ISU class: My favorite class at Iowa State was Advanced Animal Nutrition (ANS419). This class was the most challenging but also the most rewarding because I was able to utilize that nutrition knowledge at my family’s farm. Another class I highly recommend is Science with Practice (AgEdS312). This class provided me the chance to work in a research lab and present on a research project. The ability to present technical knowledge through a poster is a valuable skill to learn.
Job Title & Company: Thermal Process Scientist-Hormel Foods Corporation, Austin, MN
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: My current position at Hormel Foods includes overseeing the thermal processing of our products and ensuring all products on the shelf are safe for our consumers. As a thermal process scientist, my primary task consists of conducting studies on grocery products (i.e. SPAM®, chili, Compleats®) and developing cooking processes for the plants. When the plant deviates from their cooking process because of mechanical delays or other issues, another function of my job is to confirm that product is safe by conducting additional cooking studies or by evaluating the cooking process they used.
What you like most about your job/position? Every day is an adventure at Hormel Foods. My current position has allowed me to improve upon my critical thinking skills and maintain the food safety of our company’s brands. Traveling to the production plants and building bridges with employees is my favorite part of this job. I love to be one of the many “Inspired People Making Inspired Food” at Hormel Foods…and taking SPAM® selfies (or maybe that is just me).
What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences? The advice I would give current students is to keep an open mind about your future career path. Opportunities may present themselves that you never envisioned. Also, participate in study abroad while in college because juggling careers and traveling can get a little more complicated. Stay motivated, make connections, and continue to learn something new every day. Enjoy your adventure at Iowa State—it goes fast.