Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science

By: John M. Krochta

Peter J. Shields

Peter J. Shields was a great friend of the Dairy Industry, the State of California, and the University of California.  A dairy farmer, attorney, Secretary of the State Agricultural Society, Superior Court Judge, President of the California State Dairy Association and the California Livestock Breeder Association, he continuously promoted dairy improvement and was instrumental in drafting the bill which created what is now the Davis campus of the University of California (UC-Davis).

Peter J. Shields was recognized by UC-Davis with the first honorary degree ever awarded by the Davis campus and was also recognized by the naming of a major street, the main library, and a grove of oak trees on the Davis campus.  He and his wife bequeathed the major portion of their estate to The Regents to support scholarships and enrich the Arboretum on the Davis campus.

CMAB and CMMAB Creation of Shields Chair

It was appropriate that the visionary decision by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and the California Manufacturing Milk Advisory Board (CMMAB) to create a Chair in Dairy Food Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology on the Davis campus would include the determination that the Chair be named after Peter J. Shields.  Thus, the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science recognizes the historic relationship of the founder of the Davis campus to the Dairy Industry.

The purposes of the Shields Chair are to:

§  Attract and sustain outstanding Dairy Food Science scholars in the Dept. of Food Science and Technology

§  Provide the occupant with opportunities to conduct exemplary research, teaching, and continuous interaction with the Dairy Food Industry. 

During my service as Shields Chair (1998-present), I have worked hard to establish a strongly positive and contributing presence for the Shields Chair on the UC Davis campus.  In particular, my goals have been to:

o    Conduct research highly relevant to the California Dairy Industry

o    Provide mentoring to graduate students that familiarizes them with the dairy industry and prepares them to be leaders in industry, academia and government

o    Offer classroom teaching that enables student intellectual achievement in food preservation and packaging, with emphases on food safety and quality

o    Provide dedicated service to the university and my profession that supports quality teaching, research and outreach

o    Enhance the ability of UC Davis to serve the California Dairy Industry

The current holder of the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science is Dr. David A. Mills.