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Processing Industry Innovator Makes Transforming Gift to NC State University

April 02, 2008

Media Contact: Gary Cartwright, Robert H. Feldmeier Dairy Processing Laboratory Coordinator, 919.513.2488, gcart@ncsu.edu

A $250,000 gift from Robert Feldmeier, owner of a Syracuse, NY, food processing equipment manufacturer, to the North Carolina State University Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences will be used to transform the department's pilot food processing plant.

The gift will enable the university's pilot processing plant to develop, produce, test and market a broader range of milk, ice cream, probiotic and other products, which, in turn, will transform the way NC State faculty and students, teach, learn and do research.

Today, pilot plant operations support teaching, research and extension programs, including projects in food flavor, nutrition, engineering, chemistry and safety. Undergraduate and graduate programs use the pilot plant to demonstrate process fundamentals while providing hands-on experience. North Carolina Cooperative Extension-sponsored short courses offer continuing education to industry.

However, due to lack of specialized technology, production is now limited to a few simple products appropriate for institutional use.

Thanks to Feldmeier's investment, students and faculty will be able to use state-of-the-art equipment to process and package new products in ways that are appropriate for marketing through a planned retail creamery that will be part of the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences. Researchers will be able to test market new products, while students will get real-world experience in product development, research and marketing.

"Mr. Feldmeier is known in the processing industry as a visionary innovator and entrepreneur," said Gary Cartwright, Feldmeier Dairy Processing Laboratory coordinator. "We are honored to count him as a leader in this initiative to expand the level of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in our processing operation.

"Feldmeier Equipment has a history of working with NC State scientists in the dairy processing pilot plant to explore new processing methods and technologies and has contributed substantially to advances in food science technology. We are grateful for Mr. Feldmeier's investment and look forward to this new level of partnership."

Robert Feldmeier founded Feldmeier Equipment Inc. in 1952 with the development of the Triple Tube Heat Exchanger. Feldmeier Equipment has since been known for excellence in innovation and service to the dairy, food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

Patents for the Triple Tube Heat Exchanger and the Spray-Up tank cleaning system gave the company its initial thrust in the dairy, beverage, food, egg processing and pharmaceutical industries. Today, Feldmeier operates five factories throughout the U.S. providing state-of-the-art service and production technology.

Feldmeier Equipment is a family-owned business. Along with Robert H. and Margaret Feldmeier, daily operations are overseen by their children John Feldmeier (president), Jeanne Jackson, Robert E. Feldmeier and Lisa Clark as well as their grandson, Colby Clark.

Written by: Catherine Maxwell, 919-513-8294 or catherine_maxwell@ncsu.edu

Posted by Dave at April 2, 2008 02:44 PM