Archive for the ‘Franklin Foods Arizona’ Category

Team Member Spotlight: Kelsea Monks

December 15th, 2018 (franklin)

Meet Kelsea Monks, Franklin Foods West Food Safety and Quality Manager/SQF Practitioner.

  • Where were you born? I was born in Mesa, AZ and raised in Florence, AZ.
  • What is your background (i.e., experience, education, etc.)? I attended the University of Denver, where I earned two Bachelor of Science degrees. One in Biochemistry and the other in Molecular Biology. I also minored in Medical Physics and Neuroscience.
  • What’s your role at Franklin Foods? I am the the Food Safety and Quality Manager/SQF Practitioner at Franklin Foods West in Casa Grande, AZ.
  • What do you like most about Franklin Foods? I love what I do and I enjoy the people that I work with. Franklin Foods is truly a wonderful company to work for.
  • What are your hobbies? One of my favorite things to do is ride horses and team rope. I also enjoy singing, spending time with my family and watching NFL football with my dad. Go Broncos!
  • What is your favorite song? It’s hard to pick just one. I am a huge George Strait fan and I love all of his songs.
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement? Earning two Bachelor of Science degrees. It was no easy task.
  • Who has influenced you most in your life? My Father. He has always encouraged me to my follow my dreams and to never give up, even when things get difficult.
  • Where is one of your favorite places to visit? I love Colorado. I enjoy being outdoors and it’s a great state for outdoor activities, all year round.
  • What is your favorite flavor of cream cheese or dish made with cream cheese? One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake and cream cheese is a key ingredient!
Kelsea Monks

Kelsea Monks

Targeting Trends 2015 Conference: A Taste of Sustainability

October 2nd, 2015 (franklin)

Dairy Council of Arizona's 25th Annual Targeting Trends Conference

The Arizona Dairy Council hosts the 25th Annual Targeting Trends Conference: A Dish of Sustainability. The conference will explore sustainability from several different aspects, from farm to table to trash.


Jason Van Der Toorn: Every Day is Earth Day on a Dairy Farm

Learn about the environmental innovations used by dairy farmers as they care for the animals and land.

Shane C. Burgess, Ph.D.: Ag in AZ

Did you know that it’s possible to eat a healthy, balanced diet with what’s grown and produced in Arizona? Agriculture in Arizona is abundant, varied and delicious!

Anupama Joshi M.S. and Ashley Schimke, DTR: Farm to School

Farm to school enriches the connection between schools and fresh, healthy food and local food producers. School gardens provide unique educational opportunities.

Erin Fitzgerald: Nutrition Sustainability

You’ve heard about ‘carbon footprints’ and what farmers do to reduce greenhouse gases. But what about about you – what’s your ‘Foodprint’? You can make an impact on the environment with how you shop, cook and eat.

Jennifer Reeves, M.Ed. and Melissa Jahnke: Sustainability in School Wellness

Does your school struggle with implementing a wellness policy? Do you have a SWAT (School Wellness Advocacy Team) Team in your school? Learn how Fuel Up to Play 60, the premier school wellness program in the nation, has helped Arizona schools create sustainable changes.

Brandon McFadden, Ph.D: Biotech & Agriculture

Do you eat only organic or avoid GMOs? Learn about the research behind these and other agricultural technologies.

2015 GENYOUth Arizona Empowerment Town Hall

September 28th, 2015 (franklin)



A nation-wide series of events to foster collaboration between key business and school leaders in making positive changes in our communities to benefit youth.  This four hour event will look at how Arizona students make strides academically thanks to improved nutrition and increased physical activity.  We will also explore the influence of youth empowerment on making these positive changes.  Share your voice in this vital conversation and participate in round table discussions to generate innovative, actionable steps toward further change.  Hear from a dynamic panel of local leaders and key decision-makers in the areas of education, health and wellness, student leadership and business;  including:

·        Michael Bidwill, President, Arizona Cardinals

·        Farah Lokey, M.D., Pediatrician

·        Cole McDaniel, Youth Ambassador

·        Paul Rovey, Dairy Management Inc. Board Chairman and United Dairymen of Arizona Board Chairman

·        Jeff Smith, PhD., Superintendent, Balsz School District

Discussion Topics

  • School Breakfast: How and why school breakfast is the single most effective way of meeting the urgent nutritional needs of students.
  • Youth Empowerment: How GENYOUth is working to ensure youth have the power, the potential, and the resources to create healthful environments that increase their chances for success in school and in life.
  • Farm-To-School: Why today’s students must care about where their food comes from and the importance of making healthful choices.
  • The Business Role: Find out how the corporate/business sector can and must support their initiatives that enable empowered, visionary youth to change the school and community wellness environments.
  • The Learning Connection: Highlighting positive effects of improved nutrition and greater opportunities for physical activity on academic success.

Welcome Intern Evan Kurtz from Arizona State University

June 4th, 2015 (franklin)

Summer intern Evan Kurtz got a behind-the-scenes look today at Franklin Foods West in Casa Grande, Arizona. Evan had a chance to meet all the key team members, tour the plant, see our operations in full-swing, and of course sample some Greek Cream Cheese! Great day!

Alex Ledding and Rocco Cardinale welcome intern Evan Kurtz to Franklin Foods West.

Rocco Cardinale, Evan Kurtz and Alex Ledding.

About Evan

My name is Evan Kurtz, I am now a junior at Arizona State University, W.P Carey school of business. I am majoring in both Finance and Accounting. I love to fish, hunt, off-road, and travel. My freshman summer I was able to travel to Taiwan for an internship opportunity. This also allowed me to travel to Vietnam, and Singapore. I’ve always loved learning new things and new experiences, which is why I love traveling. Traveling has allowed me to experience the world, and all of its different types of foods. I hope to share some of the interesting recipes that I gathered along the way and uses with Greek cream cheese.

Evan Kurtz - Intern from Arizona State University

Evan Kurtz - Intern from Arizona State University

Dairy Cows in Arizona?

July 19th, 2014 (franklin)

By Rocco Cardinale

The number one question I’ve had over the last two years has been, “There are dairy cows in Arizona?” This is a seemingly logical question when the sweltering heat and desert landscape are the typical images that come to mind when most of us picture Arizona. Those were my images as well, primarily because they are true.

Yes, it’s hot and dry for a good part of the year in the southwest Arizona county of Pinal, and it’s also the heart of a robust dairy milkshed. Yes, it feels as if you’re going to accidentally “mosey” (that will be my only Western movie reference, promise) right onto the movie set of an old cowboy picture with cacti in the background and the perfect tumbleweed rolling on by. The John Wayne vibe is still alive and well, especially in Casa Grande, where the “Duke” spent a great deal of time. Coincidentally, a portion of his Red River Ranch is now part of a dairy operation owned by Tom and Kathy Dugan. More about the Dugan’s later.

Just how much milk is produced in Arizona? Oh, about 4.4 billion pounds a year, ranking Arizona 15th in the U.S.  A majority of this milk is produced by the 86 member farmers of the United Dairyman of Arizona Cooperative (UDA). UDA collects the milk from each farm, and at their state-of-the-art processing facility in Tempe, pasteurizes the fluid milk for local bottlers and manufacturers. Cream and butter are also produced, as well as powdered milk for domestic and global distribution.

One of the original Arizona dairy families is the Dugan’s. Dennis Dugan, of Triple D Dairies and his five brothers (Dan, Pat, Mike, Richard, and Tom) are all dairy farmers. Only Richard in no longer active.  The Dugan’s parents, Delores and Mike, moved from Wisconsin to Arizona in 1962 with their six boys.  Today the Dugan brothers milk about 30,000 cows. After spending time with Dennis and touring the dairy farm, one thing is very clear, he still enjoys the dairy business. He effortlessly moves from topics on the latest herd cooling technology, global dairy issues and practices, to his new family foundation that will benefit underprivileged children. This family owned business represents the history and future of Arizona dairy, and Franklin Foods West is proud to have the Dugan’s, and all of the family farmers of UDA as suppliers.

So, to answer the question, “Yes, there are dairy cows in Arizona…about 175,000 of them.” Visit the Dairy Council of Arizona website and learn more about Arizona family farmers.

Rocco Cardinale

Rocco has over 15 years of marketing and branding experience in the food and beverage, and consumer packaged goods industry. His background stretches from founding a specialty coffee company in California to his current role as vice president of marketing for Franklin Foods, an innovative dairy products manufacturer.

Governor Brewer and ACA Welcomes Franklin Foods to Arizona

January 17th, 2013 (franklin)

Franklin Foods receives warm welcome by Governor Jan Brewer during the Arizona Commerce Authorities Board of Directors Meeting in downtown Phoenix. Franklin Foods is expanding it’s operations and opening up a second cream cheese manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Arizona Commerce Authority Board Meeting

Arizona Commerce Authority Board Meeting