Specializing in brewing and distilling gives the vibe of a hobby, but it is indeed a formal degree, and biotechnology leader Alltech considers master’s degree graduates of the program to be essential to its core business. For that reason, the company is celebrating Kendon Jacobson, Alltech’s 21st employee to receive a master’s degree in brewing and distilling from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University, known for graduating some of the foremost brewing and yeast fermentation experts in the world.
According to Becky Timmons, global director of applications research and quality assurance at Alltech, Heriot-Watt’s course offers the most practical advanced education for employees given Alltech’s focus on yeast fermentation technology.
“We are very excited to add Kendon to our growing list of Heriot-Watt graduates,” said Timmons. “Yeast fermentation is fundamental to our core business in animal health and nutrition, and I have found that this unique program provides background on a range of subject matter that is beneficial in our industry.”
Founded in 1980 by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech discovers and delivers solutions for the sustainable nutrition of plants, animals and people. With more than 100 manufacturing sites globally, Alltech is a leading producer and processor of yeast and organic trace minerals, and its flagship algae production facility in Kentucky is one of only two of its kind in the world.
Alltech is currently collaborating with Western Kentucky University to offer a similar degree. The program would serve the rising craft beer industry in the United States as well as the burgeoning bourbon industry.
Such a partnership is not uncommon for Alltech, a company that considers education to be the foundation of both the present and future. This emphasis is reflected in Alltech’s current work with universities globally to collaborate on research, create further educational opportunities for its employees and provide work experiences to the universities’ current students.