Westby Cooperative Creamery Employee Profile

 

 

Name: Jason Levendoski

Years with Westby: 4

Position: Quality Manager

 

Hello. I'm Jason Levendoski, and my job title here at Westby Cooperative Creamery is Quality Manager; which means I take responsibility for overall quality assurance and regulatory compliance in daily operations of our Creamery manufacturing facility.

 

Truthfully, it's a total team effort since every employee that works here has a shared responsibility for quality; which we all take very seriously as a daily responsibility. It is why we are all proud of our industry SQF Certification.

 

Westby Cooperative Creamery has earned the Certificate of Registration in meeting the Safe Quality Food (SQF) requirements of the SQF Code, 8th Edition, Level 3: Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System. Administered by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF Program is a food safety management system.

 

SQF is now recognized around the world as the leading certification program for food safety in manufacturing and distribution. It takes a continuous team effort to earn and maintain this industry certification.

 

I've worked here now for four years, starting as an entry level Lab Technician. I was then promoted to Lab Manager, before being promoted to my current position in mid-2015. The lab is where I still spend some of my time.

 

On any given day I could be anywhere in our Creamery facility; from ingredient inventory tracking, to product production line, to filling and packaging, to warehouse and distribution, to supplier and customer contacts in my office, to employee training, to answering regulatory agency questions, to working with a customer on new product development.

 

No two days are the same, and every day is exciting; because every day starts with fresh milk being delivered from the local family dairy farms of our member owners. When any one of the many milk delivery trucks arrive during the day at the Creamery, we all know that is fresh milk coming from the cows of our member dairy farms; ready to be manufactured into cultured dairy food products like cottage cheeses, sour creams, dairy dips, yogurts, or hard cheeses.

 

Annually, we receive over 125-million pounds of member-supplied milk, conventional and certified-organic; and manufacture nearly 30-million pounds of cultured dairy foods and hard cheeses.

 

I'm reminded daily of growing up on a nearby family farm in Stoddard, Wisconsin. We weren't dairy farmers milking cows. Rather, our family grew annual cash crops such as corn, soybeans, grains, and hay. We also raised beef cattle on pastures and small feedlots. My involvement in crop growth and animal care spurred my interest in science from a young age.

 

Nature is full of science. There's no better education on understanding and appreciating the value of our natural resources and hard work than the education I received by working on a family farm. That's why after graduating from DeSoto High School, I headed off to the University of Wisconsin/Stevens Point for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry.

 

To be able to come back "home" and apply my personal experiences, education, knowledge, and professional training to produce the highest quality dairy foods in the country is a source of immense pride and satisfaction. I'm also lucky enough to still be involved in helping raise beef cattle and crops on the family farm.

 

Remember, when you -- Take home country goodness from the family dairy farms of Westby Cooperative Creamery - you also take home country goodness from me -- Jason Levendoski, and all of my fellow employees.

 

And for that, we all say THANKS!

 

 

Other Westby Employee Profiles

 

 

 

 

Matt Lium: Shipping Lead

Christopher Dach: Cheese Maker

Jim Frydenlund: Maintenance Technician

Steve Grabowski: Processing Operations Lead

Krissa Myhre: Customer Service Representative

John Schedivy: Field Representative

Lori Whitney: Machine Operator

Ryan O'Donnell: Assistant Plant Manager