Students give Ferdinand’s a Cougar gold

Strong school spirit and a family feel are key aspects of what it means to be a Coug. Ferdinand’s reflects this essence not only by benefiting the agriculture department with proceeds, but also in that food science majors make its ice cream and Cougar Gold Cheese. It’s a constant cycle of “Cougs help Cougs.”

Food Service Supervisor Eric Needham has worked at Ferdinand’s for 11 years and said the atmosphere of the work area is always upbeat and hectic.

“It’s amazing what the students make out of our own milk,” Needham said. “It’s an on-campus facility, we milk our own cows, we turn it into delicious product. I think that is very unique.”

Ferdinand’s celebrates WSU through traditions like serving lemon chiffon-flavored ice cream for moms during Mom’s Weekend, opening up the garage on football game days, making seasonal ice cream flavors and joining in on campus events.

“We sell great products and people are happy when they come in here,” Needham said. “From different age groups on and off campus, people coming from the west side, Oregon, Idaho, come here just to have ice cream.”

Students of all degrees have the chance to work at Ferdinand’s, although those actually making the product and milking the cows are typically food science majors.

Brady Sundquist, a senior food science major, has spent three years producing cheese and ice cream while bonding with other Cougs in a similar field.

“You get to see the whole process and learn the science behind it,” Sundquist said. “It’s lively and we all get along really well. For a college job it’s pretty damn cool.”

Ferdinand’s is a very distinct part of WSU, Needham said.

“That’s our job here, to make it special for everybody,” Needham said. “I just love it because all the customers come in here and they’re in good moods. It’s a pleasure to work here.”