26 Nov Lynn Moore
Food Science Technology & International Opportunities
Born and raised in Ohio, it may come as a surprise to most people that when Lynn Moore made the decision to go away from her home base for the first time, she went as far away as Germany for an entire year! Leaving behind her husband who had to stay with his job, learning a new language, and experiencing life at its utmost.
Lynn says it all began with her internships, her education and her willingness to try new experiences. The lessons she learned about the food product system internationally continues to assist her today as she nears the end of a decade with her employer, Nestle, in the research and development profession. For someone who hasn’t hit their 30th birthday yet, that is an impressive feat!
Internships Provide Pivotal Opportunities
Graduating college from Ohio State University with a food science degree and a minor in agriculture communications, Lynn always knew that food science was where she wanted to be. The stereotypical picture that comes to mind when you think of food science is someone in a white lab coat testing food samples. While that is a part of the role, there are many other facets within the industry of food science. Through internships, Lynn was able to understand where her passions lay, what interested her the most and what career she wanted to pursue.
Growing Up Farming
Born and raised on a tomato farm, Lynn had a hands on experience with the field end of the food chain. Tomatoes are an interesting crop to raise, unique to most other commodities, and she was able to get hands on experience with the workers, managers and the crop in the field. These initial jobs helped her connect the field to food processing which is what initially led her to pursue further education in food science.
Smith Dairy Farms
In college, Lynn took an internship in quality assurance with Smith Dairy in Ohio. Through that internship, she was able to see more of fluid processing as a part of a quality control group. While getting to taste test ice cream every week, she was also able to see different aspects of quality assurance and testing. The attention to detail in ensuring that 2% milk is actually 2% milk showed her the strict procedures of the food industry in the United States.
Finishing her junior year of college, Lynn took an internship with Nestle. After that three month internship, they offered her a full time job at graduation. Lynn went straight into product development and spent three years with a focus on frozen and refrigerated brands we are all familiar with like Stauffers, diGiorno, and Lean Cuisine.
In this role, Lynn was able to see the product development side in the test kitchen, with recipes, and with consumers. It was the culmination of learning hands on about the three different aspects of the industry through all of her internship opportunities.
The Power of an Internship
“It taught me what I really enjoyed,” says Lynn about her internship. When she took the internship at Nestle, she had no idea that she would be there for eight years straight! She was able to realize that there wasn’t just one career path that she could take.
What is Food Science?
A combination of chemistry, biology, and sciences, food science is about looking at food chemistry, microbiology, and food safety specifically. Through undergrad, there are processing classes that you can explore such as vegetable processing (i.e. freezing, canning), manufacturing of food engineering, and research & development.
An increasingly scientific field, it can be hard to keep up with the rapidly changing industry that is food.
“I am always watching food trends and grocery stores,” says Lynn. “[I am also] reading newsletters or industry reports because I am more on the consumer side of products – I focus less on the manufacturing side.”
For her job, Lynn keeps up to date on what is happening in the industry itself and on the consumer level. She has to know the current health trends, diet fads, and nutrition patterns. She has to analyze their impacts on a larger scale when it comes to bigger health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
“I had voiced with my manager at the time that I was open to opportunities if they came about,” says Lynn and the opportunity that came about was an amazing one. “I spoke with my husband prior in career conversations about if it was something that he would be open to or ready to explore – we had to know that the opportunity would be a benefit to me.”
When the opportunity to head to Germany for a year to work came up, they jumped at the opportunity. “I’m glad we made it work out,” Lynn says about the experience in Germany. While there she was able to train with the Nestle team and bring that knowledge back to the U.S. and apply it to our domestic industry. “Seeing the food industry on a global level was very eye opening.”
Change of Perspective
“It was a huge shock for me to move to Germany because it was the first time I had moved out of Ohio, it was a very humbling experience,” says Lynn. “I felt a lot of comfort because I was with a company that was able to support me and grow with me – it helped make that transition good.”
Working internationally in the food industry, you can get an entirely new perspective, especially when in Europe. With different languages and different regulatory impacts on food, European countries have to transfer food across country lines versus state lines. As older nations and food industries, the farms are smaller and therefore have a different approach to agriculture.
“Your first job gets your second job, your second job gets your third job, your third job gets your fourth job, and so on and so forth,” is a quote that a college mentor of Lynn’s once told her. She’s stuck by this line through her entire collegiate and professional career. She knows that what she is doing now isn’t where she has to stay and that she can continue to grow into a new career or profession that she may be more passionate about.
“I can pivot to areas that drive more of my passion,” says Lynn. “I got that first job but it didn’t mean that I had to stick with that one topic or that one career choice for the rest of my life. As I have seen more or grown more, I can see where I can move too. I can see an open door more now than I would have when I first graduated college.”
To connect with Lynn you can find her on LinkedIn. Make sure to subscribe to the AgGrad YouTube Channel to learn more about career opportunities in agriculture and follow along on the special “30 Under 30 in Agriculture” series! Our 2020 AgGrad 30 Under 30 nominations have officially opened – make sure to nominate someone you know today!
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