Bel Brands partnership

A cheese manufacturer that uses a laughing cow as the company mascot is giving the college something to smile about. A few months after Bel Brands USA announced Feb. 1, 2012, that it was building a $100 million manufacturing plant on the east edge of Brookings, company officials met with Dean Jill Thorngren to say the firm was interested in a community-college partnership. The shape of that partnership was announced at a Sept. 21 event at the Boys and Girls Club in Brookings. The health and nutritional sciences department is partnering with SDSU Extension, the Boys and Girls Club and Bel Brands to develop a new healthy eating and lifestyle curriculum for the club while implementing the missions of both the club and Bel Brands, Thorngren says. Nutrition and responsible pharmacy nearby< products and partnerships and society are two of the pillars of the Bel Brands corporate responsibility commitment. Thorngren says, “These marry well with each group’s vision — the Boys and Girls Club as champions for youth and leaders for positive change in the world, the college’s role to enhance human potential through education and promote well-being, and SDSU Extension’s aim to provide solutions and create opportunities for growing South Dakota. “The combination provides a great recipe for a collaboration with the potential to make a tremendous impact on our youth, families and community as a whole.”

Dietetics students, from left, Kelsey Johnson, Amanda Lambrechts and Angela Hazel pose in the cafeteria of Brookings Boys and Girls Club during their first orientation session Nov. 5. They were chosen as interns in a new program being funded by Bel Brands.

Toward that aim, Bel Brands is funding three, 20-hour-per-week internships for dietetics students. Seniors Kelsey Johnson, Angela Hazel and Amanda Lambrechts were chosen Oct. 17 from a field of 14 and started their positions Nov. 5. Their responsibilities are to develop and implement the nutrition curriculum as well as plan programs to reach out to parents of club members. In addition to these paid, hourly internships, Bel Brands gave $3,000 for scholarships not related to the internships. Suzanne Stluka, food and families program director with SDSU Extension, and Matt Vukovich, head of the health and nutritional sciences department, are overseeing the curriculum development with guidance from the club and the company. Thorngren says they will “implement curriculum, assess what components are working, and then make changes to the curriculum. This process will lead to a unique program that reflects goals of Bel Brands, the Boys and Girls Club, SDSU Extension and the department of health and nutritional sciences. “The ultimate goal is to develop sustainable nutrition impact programs that can transfer into other youth organizations throughout the state and country.” She calls it an excellent opportunity for the students to gain internship credit, apply what sildenafil viagra< they’ve learned in their coursework, and earn a good income so they don’t need acid reflux from cialis< to look for other work while they are pursuing their educations. Also at the Sept. 21 announcement, Bel Brands gave a cost cialis walmart< $5,000 check to the club to purchase healthy snacks.

Dave Graves

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