On March 22, 2023, the QualiTru team met at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Food Science and Nutrition for an educational pilot plant tour led by Darrell Bigalke, founder of QualiTru Sampling Systems, dairy microbiologist, entrepreneur, and proud University of Minnesota alum. As part of the celebration of QualiTru’s 40th anniversary, the team had a surprise in store for Darrell that will continue his legacy for the next generation of food safety and food quality enthusiasts.
How do you honor a 40-year passion for food safety and quality?
To honor Darrell’s passion for detecting coliforms and other potentially harmful microorganisms — and understanding the gravity of NOT finding them — the QualiTru team worked with the University of Minnesota to establish the Darrell Bigalke Food Safety & Food Quality Award. This annual dairy science scholarship is intended to help the next generation of students from University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine or College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences pursue key issues in dairy science and food quality and safety.
The QualiTru team, family, and friends were joined by special guests, Dr. Johan B. Ubbink, Dr. Sandra Godden, and Darrell’s professor, mentor, and longtime friend, Dr. Frank Busta, Director Emeritus, National Center for Food Protection & Defense at University of Minnesota. Darrell’s daughter, Anne Bigalke, QualiTru’s VP of Strategic Development, surprised him with a University of Minnesota sweatshirt and a heartfelt presentation of the award prior to the plant tour.
Read more about Darrell’s dedication to food safety and the Darrell Bigalke Food Safety & Food Quality Award in our press release on March 23, 2023.