"FMI Foundation research and education on Listeria has proven vital in providing solutions to an important
food safety concern."


Download the 2015/2016 FMI Foundation Scholarship application here

Food buyers and sellers increasingly rely on accredited third-party certification to help ensure that the products they sell to consumers are safe.  The future of Accredited third-party certification is dependent on a core of well-trained auditors.  Auditors at this level of sophistication require combination of auditing skills, food industry experience and a food science or related degree.  In North America, there is a shortage of well-trained auditors.

The critical issue for accredited third-party auditing in North America is to source the next generation of well-trained auditors.  The FMI Foundation funding provides a way to help fill that gap.  The new program will provide audit training and financial incentives to college undergraduate and graduate level food science majors.

This new foundation program will offer scholarships to deserving food agriculture science majors. 

The Best Kept Secret in Food Industry Career: Food Systems Auditing

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2014 FMI Foundation Scholarship Winners

Winners Pictures

The FMI Foundation has awarded a one-year, $3,000 academic grant to 10 food and animal science majors for their academic pursuits to improve food safety and protect public health.

The winners are:  
•             Rebecca Rathjen, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, M.S. Food Science and Technology
•             Zongyu Zhang, Iowa State University, Ph.D. Food Science and Technology
•             Avery Becker, Cornell University, B.S. Food Science
•             Sarah Beno, Cornell University, Ph.D. Food Science
•             Antoinette BoYee de Senna, California Polytechnic State University, M.S. Agriculture
•             Yinzhi Qu, University of Maryland, College Park, B.S. Food Science
•             Byron Chaves, Texas Tech University, Ph.D. Animal Science (Food Safety)
•             Khadija Nafi, California Polytechnic State University, B.S. Food Science
•             Patrick Spanninger, University of Delaware, Ph.D. Animal and Food Science
•             Elizabeth Stone, Kansas State University, B.S. Food Science

View our press release here!

FMI Foundation Awards Audit Training and Scholarships to College Food Science Majors

November 18, 2013 – ARLINGTON, VA – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation, in partnership with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), awarded scholarships to three deserving food agriculture science majors for their academic pursuits to improve food safety and protect public health. These competitive FMI Foundation scholarships are based on academic ability; leadership potential; motivation and initiative; and passion for the food industry and the auditing profession.

The following winners received an academic grant from the FMI Foundation:

  • Susan R. Hammons, Purdue University, Department of Food Science: The FMI Foundation recognized Ms. Hammons’ for her ongoing, graduate-level work to address the challenges of Listeria monocytogenes in retail delis. Hammons expressed a passion for creating food safety training programs for retail personnel and auditors.
  • Kizmik B. McPherson, University of Georgia, Department of Food Science: Ms. McPherson plans to continue a graduate-level degree in food safety and microbiology in order to support her interest in food safety regulation.
  • Liziane S. da Rocha, Wayne State University, Detroit, Department of Nutrition and Food Science: Ms. da Rocha expressed her desire to become a food safety auditor and improve systems that ultimately benefit the consumer.

Cathy Polley, RPh, FMI vice president of health and wellness and executive director of the Foundation, celebrated the winners, saying, “The FMI Foundation is pleased to support the dedication and academic achievements of these food science professionals; we are confident that our industry will benefit from their passionate motivation to protect public health now and in the future.”

Robert Garfield, senior vice president of SQFI, noted, “Accredited third-party certification is critical to the integrity of the food safety system, and I’m honored to have met these brilliant women who will champion an analytical and science-based approach to ensuring the security of our food.”


Heather Garlich