Richard Barz started with Leprino Foods Company in October 1975 as its first hired, entry- level lab microbiologist. Thirty-seven years later, he retired as a senior vice president of product quality and development. Once a small Italian cheese company, Leprino Foods Company has become the world’s largest manufacturer of mozzarella cheese and whey protein/lactose products. Since 1995, LFC has been the exclusive supplier of mozzarella cheese to the three major pizza chains in the United States.
At LFC, Mr. Barz created and managed the quality assurance, quality control, and product development departments. Later, he established and led the analytical, culinary, pilot plans, and held support functions as well as the research functions. These groups were responsible for ensuring high quality products that met customer expectations. While in charge of these departments, Mr. Barz was granted multiple patents for processes that manufacture mozzarella cheese more efficiently as well as patents for freezing cheese and for methods that impact the performance of mozzarella cheese when cooked on pizza.
In addition to working with the production plant and customers, Mr. Barz worked closely with regulatory and legislative groups such as the USDA, FDA and CDC on approving the use of lower-fat and lower-sodium cheese products for schools. He also worked closely with CSU and Western Dairy to educate and support dairy farmers who supplied milk to a new LFC factory in Greeley.
Mr. Barz has actively recruited and hired dozens of CSU graduates, many in technical fields. He and his wife, Susan, have to children, Megan and Ricky.
Rick Barz is an annual member of the Alumni Association.