CORVALLIS, Ore. — Lisbeth Goddik, a longtime professor and dairy extension specialist at Oregon State University, has been named head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, overseeing programs in wine, beer and cheese production.

Goddik has served as the interim department head since January 2019. She succeeds Robert McGorrin, who is returning to the faculty after 19 years as department head.

“I’m very honored that I’ve been given this position,” Goddik said in an interview with the Capital Press. “The department is over 100 years old. It is a huge responsibility to ensure our department is viable and sustainable over the next 100 years.”

Over the last six years, Goddik said the department has focused on a developing a new Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, ensuring that food industries are processing as efficiently as possible, with as little waste as possible.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the industry contributing to greenhouse gas (emissions),” she said, adding that the department is working to make the industry as environmentally sound as possible.

Goddik’s specialty has been working with dairies of all sizes across the state as an extension specialist for OSU. Milk ranked as Oregon’s fifth-most valuable agricultural commodity in 2018, at $473 million, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Under Goddik’s watch, OSU revived its on-campus creamery in 2012, where students produce their own line of artisan cheeses. Her research has also focused on reducing waste in dairies — from examining how often milk tankers need to be washed before impacting the quality of raw milk, to honing a process where artisan cheesemakers can turn whey into a clear distilled spirit, similar to vodka.

The Food Science and Technology Department, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences, is one of the oldest departments at OSU, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. Goddik is the first woman chosen to lead the department, which is divided into three degree options: general food science, fermentation science and viticulture.

The department is affiliated with the OSU Seafood Lab in Astoria and Food Innovation Center in Portland.

Currently, the department has 130 undergraduate and 45 graduate students enrolled.

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