Senior Extension Associate, Food Science
Rob Ralyea is a senior extension associate in the Department of Food Science. He studied at Kansas State University (B.S., Animal Science and Industry), and Cornell University (M.S., Food Science). He joined the Cornell faculty in 2004 after retiring from the United States Army. He manages dairy extension programs throughout the State of NY, specializing in cheese and artisan cheese production and safety. He also is the Manager of the Cornell Food Processing and Development Laboratory.
Outreach and Extension Focus
Involved in the development, implementation, and assistance in extension training programs and workshops and development of written informational material related to dairy microbiology, production and quality control procedures. Offers individual assistance to processors and milk plant operators to help troubleshoot specific problems in an effort to improve the safety, quality and consumer acceptability of milk and milk products. Works with NYS Agriculture and Markets in training Certified Milk Inspectors and providing annual updates for dairy specialists, conducts training programs for Dairy Processing Plant Superintendents, provides resource information for small entrepreneurs starting dairy processing businesses involving cows, goats or sheep and participates on dairy industry committees concerned with equipment, processing and the environment. He also provides resource information on dairy products to Cooperative Extension agents throughout New York State.
Primary contact for moving artisan cheese movement forward in NY. Responsible for helping artisans understand current regulations and food safety responsibilities of food manufacturers.
Oversees the Food Production and Development Laboratory, Cornell University's state of the art food research space.
Areas Of Expertise
- Agricultural Security
- Dairy Microbiology
- Food Research, Processing Equipment
- Food Safety
- Milk Quality
- Milk Quality, Dairy Processing, Food Defense, Food Safety, Dairy Troubleshooting, Dairy Training, Workshops, Artisan Cheese, Cheese Manufacturing
- M.S., Cornell University - 1998
- B.S., Kansas State University - 1996
- AAS, Alfred State College - 1984
Awards & Honors
- 2021 Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Extension/Outreach.
- 2021 David K Bandler Cheese Industry Award
- Food Safety Leadership Award (2016) International Dairy Foods Association
- Education and Professional Improvement Meritorious Service Award (2014) NYS Association for Food Protection
- Sign of Sustainability (2012) Sustainable Tompkins Board of Directors
110D Stocking Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
rdr10 [at] cornell.edu
Robert in the news
- Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
- Institute for Food Safety
- Department of Communication