In November 2012, Alltech launched its Graduate Program, inviting outstanding young leaders to take part in a year-long training program. Out of a pool of more than 1,500 applicants, 21 graduates from around the world were selected through a rigorous evaluation process. Five of those chosen graduates are from Kentucky.
For the next 12 months, each of the five Kentuckians will recount their experiences learning about agribusiness, brewing and distilling, and other Alltech initiatives through a monthly blog exclusive to
Lexington, KY - Usually when someone you don’t know asks for you by your full name on the phone, you expect bad news. When Emer Kelly, manager of the Alltech’s Graduate Program, called me to say I had been accepted into Alltech’s inaugural training program for outstanding graduates, the exact opposite happened – it was probably the best news I’d received in my adult life.
As a chemistry major who graduated from Georgetown College in the spring, I was honored to be one of five Kentuckians selected for the program, which started in November.
The first two weeks of the Graduate Program were a whirlwind of adventure. Along with 20 fellow graduates from around the world, I traveled to in Dunboyne, Ireland, for training at Alltech’s European Headquarters. Guided by instructors and professors from local universities, we spent our time learning about Alltech and the agriculture industry. The classroom sessions were conducted similar to an MBA course and we used case studies from the world’s largest food companies to facilitate our learning process.
In addition to classroom learning, our team focused on the introduction of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale™ to the Irish consumer market. Getting involved in the marketing efforts for the beer first-hand was a great way to understand the business of Alltech. We visited many pubs in Dublin and Dunboyne, set up beer tastings and met with customers face-to-face. We spent three days researching the market to find out how we could maximize this product’s success. As my first experience with market research, this project was a fun way to acquire knowledge while touring Ireland.
When I started the Graduate Program, I had never taken any business or marketing classes. Through Alltech’s intense training course, I was tasked to go out into the market and ask customers what they really thought was important about their beverages. People were surprisingly picky about their beer, and I was fascinated to hear about the different tastes and preferences within the market.
Returning to Kentucky after training, I shifted my focus to Alltech’s algae operations based at Alltech Global Headquarters in Nicholasville, Ky. I developed a passion for algae when I completed an undergraduate research project on its application in bio-fuels. Currently, Alltech is exploring the applications of algae to support its corporate vision of feeding the world in the future. The global population is expected to rise to 8 billion people by 2025, and feeding all these new mouths is a sizeable challenge for the global feed industry.
Alltech is focused on providing solutions to this problem by improving animal nutrition, which directly impacts the food we eat. Alltech’s algae solutions offer a clean and consistent source of omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein to sustainably support the growing population. So far, my work has been involved in researching opportunities to market these new products in key markets.
Alltech has opened the doors of the world to me. Through my year-long journey with Alltech, I will discover how we can use algae in feed to provide high-quality protein and nutrients needed in the future to feed the human population. Before Alltech, I never dreamed that I could affect people’s lives. With the experience Alltech is providing me, I know I will have the tools necessary to make a dent in the universe.
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