First We Eat: #LifeatPromega, The Culinary Experience

The Promega Culinary Garden

In the Promega garden. (L to R): Logan Morrow, gardener; Nate Herndon, Promega Senior Culinary Manager; Mike Daugherty, Promega Line Cook and Gardener

First we eat, then we do everything else.–MFK Fisher

Swatting away mosquitoes one July morning in the garden on the Promega Madison, WI, campus, Senior Culinary Manager Nate Herndon leans down and pulls back the leaves of a squash plant, revealing the bright yellow flowers that in a couple of hours will highlight a seasonal special on the lunch menu at one of the company’s cafeterias: green onion-cream cheese stuffed fried squash blossoms served on a grilled jerk pork tostada with black beans and cilantro sauce. Herndon explains that dishes made from scratch with high-quality, locally sourced (and sometimes unexpected) ingredients are the rule at Promega Madison kitchens, where it’s not uncommon to find entrees like house made ramp garganelli with oyster mushrooms and asparagus, braised beef ragu with house made buckwheat parpadelle pasta and baby kale, or fried perch tacos.

Food is an extension, a daily demonstration, of our overall commitment to sustainability, the community and employees

Many companies are realizing the benefits of upscaling their corporate cafeteria offerings. Some are engaging employees with ever-changing theme lunch menus or energy drinks on tap. Others are echoing the popular farm to table movement. But Herndon explains that Promega’s sensibilities surrounding the importance of food goes way beyond simply following popular trends. Continue reading

Next-Generation Genomics Education: Educating and Preparing the Next Generation

Students pursuing their interests wit h hands-on activities at BTC Institute.

Students pursuing their interests wit h hands-on activities at BTC Institute.

The BTC Institute has many partners in creating educational opportunities in the molecular biosciences. In recent years, we have worked with the Dane County School to Work Consortium (DCSWC) to create a unique, one-semester class aimed at giving high school Juniors and Seniors interested in scientific research and health careers a chance to explore how concepts they have been learning about in their biology and biotechnology classrooms are used in the laboratory.

To take it one step further, these laboratory experiences are tied to the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health. The Challenges provide a framework to help students understand worldwide concerns, including ways in which biotechnology can be applied to generate solutions to these problems. Students are encouraged to place scientific challenges within social and socioeconomic contexts which, in turn, make some solutions more appealing than others. This holistic approach provides the “real world” milieu that is so sought after in academic endeavors. Continue reading

Building Community: Outreach through BTC Institute Courses and Activities

Students in the Core Techniques in Protein and  Genetic Engineering Course (photo credit BTCI)

Students in the Core Techniques in Protein and Genetic Engineering Course (photo credit BTCI)

One of the questions that Promega has always asked of itself is “How can a company really become a vital part of its community over the long term, making truly valuable and unique contributions that foster deep connections to local communities where it exists?”  Lately we have formalized that with our Corporate Responsibility Report, but this question has always been a part of our corporate culture, long before such thinking was popular or “en vogue”.

In 1993 Promega helped to begin the nonprofit educational outreach institution, the BTC institute, this long-term commitment to the local community has grown throughout the 22 years to become an integral part of the local Wisconsin educational community and serve as a model for global partners as well. Here are a few thoughts from the Karin Borgh, the Executive Director of BTC Institute, about how it has managed to work toward a vision of being a vital, contributing member of the community. Continue reading

Sustainable Growth: The Edible Kind

community-garden-thumbFrom time to time, we use the Promega Connections blog to tell you a little bit more about life here at Promega Corporation. For 35 years Promega has consistently integrated the values of corporate responsibility and sustainable business practices in all aspects of our corporate culture and activity; one of those aspects can be found in the Promega cafeterias. As an employee of Promega, one of the things I have considered a key perk is the wonderful menu offerings we have here at the Madison campus. The kitchens offer a varied and fun menu full of healthy choices, using local, seasonal foods as much as possible. The Promega Culinary Garden was covers more than an acre and allows us to grow many of our own vegetables and herbs as well as compost food waste.

Below is a short video highlighting the Culinary Garden Program

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LownF6NDXo4&feature=share&list=PLzCLS8ZbGUE9_UWStqnObFNv5OBBuMpZ7]

For information on other corporate responsibility and sustainable business practices at Promega Corporation, explore our Corporate Responsibility Web site.