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Products produced by College Food, including the representative product, Sahmyook milk.

Photo courtesy of College Food.

College Food, Korea

By Kuk Heon Lee

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Kuk Heon Lee graduated from Sahmyook University (B.A.), Newbold College (M.A.), and Sahmyook University (Ph.D.). From 1990 to 2009, he served as a pastor at Korean Union Conference. In 2010, he joined Sahmyook University as a lecturer and professor at the Theology Department. His research and teaching interests are in Church History. He wrote several books and published several papers on the subject. Currently, he is also the Dean of Planning at Sahmyook University.

College Food (Daehakshikpum) was the profit company that led the development of Sahmyook University by producing dairy products such as Sahmyook Milk, Sahmyook Ice Cream. The company was located on the premises of Sahmyook University and operated from 1949 to 2004, but has been closed. The company has a historical significance because it has made a significant contribution to the development of Sahmyook University, a higher education institution of the Adventist Church in Korea.

Founding

In the history of the Business Department at Sahmyook College, the ranch began in 1949 by Elder Lee Ju-Bok with seven cows.1 In 1960, when George S. Haley took over the responsibility of the Business Department, the production and sales of Sahmyook milk were in full-scale production. Haley wrote a letter to an American food company (Beatrice Food) asking for help to purchase the equipment needed for milk processing. The company's president, Mr. Kernes, sent a milk processing machine free of charge in the spring of 1963, and Haley was able to build a factory that could produce milk. In 1963 Haley returned to the U.S. for a sabbatical year to search for cow donors. After purchasing 20 cows from La Sierra College, the cows were transported by air with the help of C. P. Sorenson (president of Far Eastern Division) and were brought to Korea. After that, the milk processing plant was expanded threefold.2

In the 1970s the Sahmyook College's Business Department achieved rapid growth based on the development of ranches and milk-processing plants. In the 1960s the Department of Business, which produced an average of 1,200 quarts of milk per day and produced a variety of dairy products such as Sahmyook Milk and Sahmyook Ice Cream, expanded its scale in the 1970s. Professor Haley imported 60 additional cows from Nebraska, the USA, in 1972, and in 1976 and 1977 a total of 120 cows, 60 cows each were imported to Korea. At that time, the Korean government greatly encouraged the livestock processing industry, so the prospect of the dairy business at Sahmyook University was very bright. The university expanded its dairy processing facility to have a plant capable of processing 10,000 kg of milk per day. The Sahmyook Milk Factory became a source of finance for the university, being able to build a new university building with the profits obtained from the increase in milk production.3

History

With this development, Sahmyook College began planning to establish a health and sanitation food factory within the college. In 1972 the Far Eastern Division dispatched A. A. Cree, general manager of the World Food Service Department, belonging to the General Conference, and E. C. Craig, general secretary of the Australian food factory, to Korea. With this opportunity, the Korean Union Mission and Sahmyook College formed a special research committee to establish a food factory in Korea and prepared a research report. On April 17, 1972, the board of directors of Sahmyook College decided to establish a food factory based on the research report and invited Park Young-Gi, who had learned about food processing technology at Loma Linda University, as an expert to promote the establishment of the food factory. In 1974 Sahmyook College developed into a practical educational institution where education and business were combined with college procurement offices, maternity training centers, horticultural training centers, dairy processing training centers, food processing training centers, and machine maintenance rooms.4 Sahmyook College expanded its food business and made a willing effort to establish a food factory to lay the foundation for self-sufficiency in the college's operation.

In 1984 the production of dairy products was expanded by the completion of a dairy processing laboratory at Sahmyook College. The dairy processing laboratory was 1778.70㎡ (basement level 1 and ground level 2) and was used as a laboratory for students and a dairy production factory.5 After the completion of the dairy processing laboratory, the milk business at Sahmyook College developed rapidly. As facilities expanded and profits increased, the number of employees increased to about ninety; so, it was necessary to separate them into separate businesses. In 1987, at the 28th General Session of the Korean Union Conference, “College Food” was established as a business organization that oversaw the milk business at Sahmyook College.6 After becoming a new independent business, College Food developed a third farm in Hongcheon, Gangwon-do in 1989.7 As a result of these efforts, in the 1990s, college food sales increased to $8,000,000, which led to remarkable growth.

However in 1997, when the Korean society faced the IMF bailout system, it faced a management crisis. The Korea Union Conference and Sahmyook University relocated College Food back to Sahmyook University in March 1998 to revive the university food business.8 Since then, it has overcome the crisis of closure through restructuring and management improvement.9 However, it could not solve the accumulated deficit management. In particular, the management deteriorated since 2000, leading to a level where business could no longer be maintained. For this reason, the business was closed on February 26, 2004.10

Historical Significance

Though the profit company, which started with the Department of Business and independently operated College Food was closed, Sahmyook University achieved remarkable development by constructing many new buildings through this project. College Food played a major role as a business model for the development of Sahmyook University and the Korean Adventist churches. It also became the parent of Sahmyook Foods, a school corporation established to run educational institutions of the Korean Adventist churches. College Food has been closed due to the economic crisis, but Korean Adventists still miss the taste of Sahmyook milk and Sahmyook Ice Cream. In the place where the College Food was located, the future hall of Sahmyook University is now established, indicating the significance of its historical role.

List of Leaders

K. L. Mitchell (1949-1951, 1954, 1955); Son, Jae Mok (1952, 1953, 1956-1958); G. S. Haley (1959-1981); Jang, Il Hyeon (1981-1984); Hwang, Yeong Jin (1984-1986); Baek, Mun Su (1986; 1987); Jeong, Yong Gun (1988-1993); Jeong, Taek Yong (1993-1996); Lee, Jae Chun (1996, 1997); Park, Gwang Su (March 1997-August 1997); Jeon, Myeong Ho (1997-2000); Kim, Chang Su (2000-2004); Kim, Jong Eun (2004, 2005).

Sources

Church Compass. April 1974; July 1989.

Haley, George S. “My Love, My Sahmyook Village.” Stories of Sahmyook Village. Seoul: Sahmyook University Press, 1996.

Korean Union Conference, the 28th Session Report, 1987.

Korean Union Conference, the 30th Session Report, 2000.

Lee, Kuk Heon. History of One Hundred Years of Sahmyook University. Seoul: Sahmyook University Press, 2008.

Park, Chaeun. Overview of Architectural History of Sahmyook University. Seoul: Sahmyook University Press, 1997

Sahmyook University News. March 29, 2004.

Notes

  1. Kuk Heon Lee, History of One Hundred Years of Sahmyook University (Seoul: Sahmyook University Press, 2008), 320.

  2. George S. Haley, “My Love, My Sahmyook Village,” Stories of Sahmyook Village (Seoul: Sahmyook University Press, 1996), 236.

  3. Ibid., 237.

  4. Chruch Compass, April 1974, 19.

  5. Chaeun Park, Overview of Architectural History of Sahmyook University (Seoul: Sahmyook University Press, 1997), 86, 87.

  6. Korean Union Conference, the 28th Session Report, 1987, 10.

  7. Church Compass, July 1989, 17.

  8. After being promoted from college to university in 1992, Sahmyook College was renamed Sahmyook University (Kuk Heon Lee, 523).

  9. Korean Union Conference, the 30th Session Report, 2000, 2-4.

  10. Sahmyook University News, March 29, 2004, 7.

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Lee, Kuk Heon. "College Food, Korea." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 17, 2021. Accessed December 06, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=A8BJ.

Lee, Kuk Heon. "College Food, Korea." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 17, 2021. Date of access December 06, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=A8BJ.

Lee, Kuk Heon (2021, May 17). College Food, Korea. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved December 06, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=A8BJ.