Leprino Cheese

This entry is part 17 of 22 in the series May - 2015

Leprino Cheese

By Beth Lipscomb

ROB YEMM was raised in Illinois, and attended the University of Iowa. There, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology. After graduation, with two job offers pending in the Midwest, Yemm and his wife decided they would prefer to live in the Front Range of Colorado. So they relocated, with hopes of finding work. Yemm’s gamble paid off with a research position in the Animal Sciences department at Colorado State University in 1986. He remained in that role for 19 years.

“Throughout my career at CSU, we were doing research on growth mechanisms in livestock,” Yemm says. “And as my career progressed, I got the opportunity to become more cross-functional, too. So I learned about food quality and meat safety, along with doing research on the topic of dairy.”

The well-rounded research he’d conducted gave Yemm
the knowledge he needed to later work in the food industry. Today, he is the director of analytical services for Leprino Foods. There, he oversees all operations of the company’s laboratory — including food chemistry testing and food microbiology. His team is made up of 14 chemists and 16 microbiologists.

Yemm is also responsible for hiring, and says that he often recruits CSU graduates. “CSU puts out hardworking, well- rounded graduates that have the work ethic and academic knowledge that we need here,” he says. And with the
new Fermentation Science and Technology major, Yemm anticipates that the targeted knowledge will be an asset to companies like his.

He also hopes to build partnerships between the University and his current employer in the future. “I still have great connections at CSU. We have relationships that
are growing and being actively pursued. Leprino is a great private resource, and there are many avenues for interaction between us and CSU,” he says.

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