Former St. Joe High student wins award

Published 11:03 am Thursday, July 31, 2014

Former Ironton St. Joe student and South Point native Sara Burcham was a part of the first-place team at the annual Dairy Research Institute’s national competition.

Burcham and her teammates competed and represented The Ohio State University in the food product and development category. Contestants in that category had to create a food item that contained at least 51 percent dairy ingredients. The food also had to target a specific audience: Baby Boomers.

“We struggled for quite some time to come up with what our product would be,” Burcham said. “With the target market being the Baby Boomers and that’s such a wide range of people it was hard to develop something that would have mass appeal.”

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After much consideration the team decided on a Trifle Au Lait, or a truffle made from milk.

“We decided on a dessert because we thought it would have the wide appeal we were looking for,” Burcham said. “But, we also wanted something that would still have all of the benefits of a dairy product. I think the Baby Boomers come from a generation where they weren’t as food conscience. So we wanted to give them something that would be similar to the food they were accustomed to, but still have those health benefits.”

The winners of the competition were announced earlier this month in Indianapolis, Ind. but the competition itself took place in January. Since that time Burcham graduated from Ohio State and says the award validates the education she received.

“I was proud to represent Ohio State,” Burcham said. “I think the win says something about our education and the work we do in the classrooms of our food development program. It shows the skills we learned are applicable to the real world industry.”

Burcham is currently working as a quality assurance analyst for Schreiber Foods in Carthage, Mo. Burcham credits not only her time at Ohio State for her success, but also her years at St. Joe.

“I think if it wasn’t for attending St. Joe that I’d be in a completely different place right now,” she said. “The education I received there was absolutely vital to attending Ohio State. It was my foundation and I’m thankful for the path the school has put me on.”