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Michigan State UniversityLyman Briggs College


Briggs Students Visit ConAgra Foods

Briggs students at ConAgra headquarters in Omaha, NEAs part of LB 494 (an upper-level Briggs course), students visited the headquarters of ConAgra foods in Omaha, NE Nov. 15-17, and learned more about the world of food science.

The course, designed to explore non-medical options for students pursuing a science degree, is the brainchild of Dr. Ryan Sweeder who is an associate professor of chemistry at Briggs.

"It's about getting out into the real world, finding out there are options other than medical school, and seeing what people really do with a science degree," said Sweeder.

Another pic of students at ConAgra headquartersSeven students went on the trip (pictured above), including Kendal McCarthy, a sophomore studying nutritional science.

"I took the class to get into research, and because of my love for the study of food and health," she said.

"We were able to present to the scientists and converse with them, and they challenged us with questions that we had to be fully prepared to answer."

Connor Petersen, a junior studying nutritional science, also went on the trip and was most excited about seeing the real-world application of a non-medical science degree having recently changed his academic track.

"By going on the trip to Omaha, I was able to feel like a part of the actual ConAgra team," he said.

"The visit to ConAgra was eye-opening because it brought to my attention how deep the field of food science is. There were people of all backgrounds, fields of interest, and skills working in their facility in order to optimize their products. It really showed me that food science is a field with so much diversity and potential direction."

Both McCarthy and Petersen felt reaffirmed by the trip, and expressed a great increase in confidence in their major and their career path decisions.

For more information about LB 494 and the partnership with ConAgra, please contact Dr. Ryan Sweeder by emailing For more information about the newly-designed food science major at Briggs, please contact an academic advisor.


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