We are Kemin

Watch videos and browse images of our current employees and their favorite moments working at Kemin to learn more about the Kemin culture.


Natasja Smeets 
Associate Scientist

Can you tell us about your career path?
My history with Kemin already started when I did my master thesis at Kemin. Because Kemin already knew me from my Master thesis, and they were searching for a ph.D candidate, they actually contacted me. I kept working with Kemin as a research associate, then a senior research associate, and now an associate scientist. So, it’s already a long and interesting path with Kemin.

What’s your favorite thing about working for Kemin?
Well, I really love the science. But, not only the science, not only the basic fundamental science, but also the direct application. And that’s what you find at Kemin. If you love science, and you want to know for sure that something will happen with the products you develop, then Kemin is a good place for you.

Any cool projects you can talk about?
Yeah, I’m proud of the ph.D research I did with Kemin, because it was, of course, almost five years of my life. It was very interesting, and very challenging for that period, because you work together with a university, but also with a company. So in a university they always want the “real fundamental” science, but in a company they also want the application. So it was a very challenging time to find the correct balance between the two.

Tell us something fun!
The “fun” question? For the last five years, I’ve been following evening classes for learning how to sew. And then also to re-make the clothes, like making the pants shorter and things like that. So that’s something I like to do.


At Kemin, we hosted 20+ interns in the summer of 2018. Read what they had to say about their experiences!

What is your favorite part of interning at Kemin? "The wide array of projects I get to work on and the fact that the work I do helps the company in a tangible way that I can see." - Joel Heil, Marketing Intern.

Tell us about your projects: "Last summer I focused on the marketing plans for the launch of Kemin Canada in the winter, and I even got to visit Quebec, CA. This summer I am revamping KANA’s social media pages. Follow us on twitter: @KeminAgNA or on Linkedin: Kemin Animal Health & Nutrition North America" - Cara Murphy, Animal Nutrition and Health North America Intern.

What advice would you give to a future intern about your experience with Kemin? "Ask a lot of questions, there is so much to learn at Kemin, especially with all of the different business units. Also, challenge yourself. Take on a project that is out of your comfort zone and you’ll surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!" - Kimberly Messmer, Crop Technologies Marketing Intern.

What is your favorite part about interning at Kemin? "I really enjoy the atmosphere; everyone is upbeat and passionate." - Sophia Paino, Marketing Intern.

What advice would you give to a future intern about your experience with Kemin? "I would encourage future interns to ask questions. An internship is a time for you to learn about the industry and about Kemin. Everyone is very willing to answer any questions you have pertaining to your project, projects you are helping with, their job responsibilities, or Kemin Industries. Also, I encourage them to ask if someone needs help on their project. It is great to get a variety of experiences." - Morgan Denzer, Food Technologies R&D Intern.

Any cool projects you can talk about? "One of the projects that I am working on is looking into a bulk ingredient unloading system. This project has allowed me to see the motivations, logistics, and inner workings of Kemin. Through this project I have become a better communicator and more of a self-starter than I was before." - Zach Gordon, Animal Nurtition and Health Intern.

What is your favorite part about interning at Kemin?  "Definitely the people I work with at Kemin Health has made this experience a lot more enjoyable and fun. They all have friendly and unique personalities." - Duc To, Human Nutrition and Health R&D Intern. 

What advice would you give to a future intern about your experience with Kemin? "The one piece of advice that I would give future interns about my experience at Kemin would be to come in with an open mind and ready to learn.  Working in R&D especially, you never know what may arise so go into each day with a willingness to grow in your skills and learn all that you can." - Andrea Van Wyk, Crop Technologies Intern. 

What is your favorite part about interning at Kemin? "The team of people I get to work with everyday. They are passionate about their work, readily help me learn scientific concepts, are trustworthy, and so funny. Most importantly, they give me confidence at work; they have faith in my abilities by encouraging my achievements and guiding me through a few mistakes. There are so many other great amenities that Kemin offers employees/interns. This is a place I am excited to come to everyday!" - Peyton Payne, Nutrisurance R&D Intern.

What advice would you give to a future intern about your experience with Kemin? "Get to know everybody in your division. Not only will you make new friends who will make your internship that much more enjoyable, but you will also expand your professional network." Vincent Zavala-Livengood, Nutrisurance Intern.

Any cool projects you can talk about? "I have been working on ramping up Kemin Health’s social media presence through selecting content, scheduling, and writing captions for social media posts across multiple platforms. It has been a gratifying project because I can directly see and measure the impact that I am making." - Mary Hill, Human Nutrition and Health Intern. 


Carel Fouche
PAD Field Technician

Any cool projects you can talk about?
We started around a year ago with the new iBail. In South Africa it’s used at the farmers on the bailing machines (the bailers) and that’s currently a great project we are working on and a new thing in South Africa for us.

What is your favorite thing about working for Kemin?
My favorite part of working for Kemin would probably be that not every day is the same. In the engineering department we build new systems every week and we have to stay up with technology, and especially our client services. So, I’m in the field as well, and that’s what I like from my department.

Do you have any advice for new employees?
You should remember that everybody started at the bottom. Just like a pro was an amateur and an expert was a beginner at some time in their life. So, don’t worry.

Tell us something fun.
I think if you speak to your plants, they will grow a lot better than if you don’t speak to them.
“Was it a sunny day today? Are you a bit thirsty? I see you look good today!”


How long have you worked at Kemin? 17 years

What is your favorite part about working at Kemin? The people!  I have many great friends and love collaborating with all the great minds at Kemin.

Do you have any advice for new employees?  Embrace change!  Kemin is fast paced and constantly changing and growing.  There is never a boring minute.

Can you give us any fun personal information to help illustrate your story? My fun story is that I grew up in Pullman, WA – home of Washington State University where Dr Nelson got his PhD under Bud Ryan.  After working at Kemin for several years, I learned that my dad and Bud Ryan regularly played basketball together. It shows what a small world it is!

How did you first get interested in body building?  My time at Kemin Health as a Technical Service Manager is what really lead me to up my fitness game.  While I regularly attended fitness classes at the YMCA and thought I was decently fit, it wasn’t until I started attending fitness expos to promote our ingredients that I realized there was a whole untapped world with weightlifting.  I stumbled across small apparel company that also ran some transformation challenges called Fit Like Flint.  In 2015, I decided to sign up and ended up winning the 12 week transformation challenge and became a team athlete.   After that, I was hooked.  I made so many new friends during my journey and they keep me pushing myself every day.

What keeps you motived to stay fit and healthy?  My family is probably my number one motivator.  I have two active daughters.  I want to be able to keep up with them for a very, very long time so I need to take care of the one body I was given.

Do you have any tips for people who are interested in trying to get into that sport or any sort of fitness in general?  My best advice would be to just try to move every day.  Try new things and when find stuff you like, keep it up.    There is huge power being surrounded by positive, supportive people so find a buddy or join a class.  Nutrition is also super important but often overlooked.  You really need to eat for you goals, whether they be weight loss, strength building or simply maintaining.  And definitely don’t underestimate the power of weights and strength training.  Cardio is great, but building muscle was the game changer for me.  


Koen Meynen
Senior Scientist - Belgium 

How long have you worked at Kemin? 28 years

Have you had any other types of jobs at Kemin since you started? I started working with Kemin in 1990 as a biochemist in the animal nutrition division, where I helped created Customer Laboratory Services Department. I had a new opportunity in 1999, to be the lab manager for our new pet food division, so I took that position and have worked with both antioxidants (in Belgium) and palatants (in Italy). Now, I’m a senior scientist.

What is your favorite part about working at Kemin? I really enjoy the interaction with colleagues from all different functions. 

Do you have any advice for new employees? I’ve been with Kemin for more than 25 years, and I think the secret to enjoying your time is to keep the fun in your work.

What makes your job interesting? The variation in the projects. We get to work on different aspects of pet food, and what we feed our own pets contain products we developed. I’m able to help with the development of palatability enhancers for pets and also the development of new antioxidants based on protein.

Can you give us any fun personal information to help elevate your story? I’m an orienteering sport fanatic. I started around 2000, and often like to compete in races and challenges in the weekend.


Kin Ken Chew
Associate Product Manager

Can you tell us about your career path with Kemin?
This is not my first position in Kemin. I was working in the lab before, I was a CLS associate. So mainly, doing lab work, helping the customer analyze the samples. After that, I had been working for about three and a half years, and I got the opportunity to move. There was a vacancy in another department, the Feed Technology Unit. I applied the job and I got to this new department and became the associate product manager.

Do you have any advice for new employees?
Be open and brave to ask. The employees here are very helpful, friendly and they are great. So, if you have any questions, please don’t be shy and ask them and they will be very happy to help you.

What is your favorite thing about working for Kemin?
So these are the very fun parts or interesting parts of working for Kemin: As an associate product manager, I get the opportunity to travel around and visit the customer. This is a really good experience for me because I like to explore different cultures, and I see people from different places; the interaction and working together with them.

Tell us something fun!
Well, I just got married!


Kinsey Frederick 
Digital Analyst

How long have you worked at Kemin? 3 years

Have you had any other types of jobs at Kemin since you started? Summer internship

What was your focus/major in college or university?  Iowa State University, B.A. degree in both Technical Communication and English (double major). 

In my Technical Communication classes I learned content management systems (CMSes) and basic website design and theory, which helped position me as a candidate to work on the upcoming kemin.com redesign launch as an intern, and later take over major admin roles as a full-time employee. I currently work on a wide range of digital marketing projects, with focus on kemin.com, analytics, and SEO (or strengthening Kemin’s online presence).

What is your favorite part about working at Kemin? The opportunities, challenges, and flexibility. Kemin is a constantly evolving workplace, and that provides innumerable opportunities to grow my professional skillset. That’s not to say the work is always easy, there’s projects and goals that require hard work (with great pay off), but I love that because I never get bored. Adding to that, being in corporate means getting to work with people all over the world, which I find rewarding, helping to put perspective on our global mission. To top it off, Kemin isn’t the standard punch-in and punch-out 9-5 job. There’s a great people-first culture, allowing team members to adapt their schedules as necessary to meet their personal needs. 


Carmen Coetzee
Product Manager

How long have you worked for Kemin? 5 years and 8 months

Can you tell us a bit about your career path so far within the company?

  • Technical Support Specialist in Kemin Sub-Saharan Africa 2012 to 2015.
  • Associate Technical Service Manager EMENA 2015 to 2017.
  • Associate Product Manager EMENA 2017 to 2018.
  • Product Manager EMENA 2018 to present.
     

What’s your favorite part of working at Kemin? I enjoy the experience and exposure to industry within Kemin. This creates opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. I could not be in a better position anywhere else in the world currently. I say this because I am currently learning and associated directly with my manager, who has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. I enjoy working within the team and cross-functionally. They are passionate about their roles within Kemin, and it is contagious, and moments like this, you think this is exactly where I need to be, and as it hits you, and you smile, and you just know.

What advice do you have for women who want to have a job in the science industry? I’d say go for it! The industry is so diverse and connected, it allows you to move dynamically through with so many opportunities to find where your passion lies. You will learn and challenge yourself, give yourself the opportunity to reach your full potential. It may involve taking risks, failing, learning and growing. The best recipe to refine your character! And more importantly contribute to making a difference, the advancement of research, science and innovation starts with a single decision and desire.

Tell us something fun about yourself! I am more confident in a great pair of weightlifting shoes than I am in high heels.


Doug Reyes 
Research Associate 

How long have you worked at Kemin? I have worked at Kemin for over 4 years, initially I stated as a temporary employee but was officially hired shortly after that in March 2013. 

Have you had any other types of jobs at Kemin since you started? Customer Laboratory Services and Palatants Research and Development for Kemin's Petfood Division.

What was your focus/major in college or university? For the first two years of my college career I went to Simpson College and then transferred to Grand View University. In 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. 

What is your favorite part about working at Kemin? There are multiple things I truly enjoy about working here at Kemin but one of the reasons I choose to stay is because of the individuals that make up this organization. Throughout my time here I have had the honor of meeting some of the most genuine, supportive, and diverse group of people. One memory I am most fond of when thinking about my journey at Kemin, is the opportunity I had as part of the Kemin Build Nepal Team. The generosity of the Nelson Family and the dedicated team who participated in this cause, are a prime example of the greatness that exists at Kemin. 

Carolina Hernandez
Research Associate

How long have you worked at Kemin? I have worked at Kemin for over 4 years. 

Have you had any other types of jobs at Kemin since you started? Customer Laboratory Serivces and Research and Development for Kemin's Human Nutrition and Health Division.

What was your focus/major in college or university? Grand View University: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biochemistry and Biology. Minors: Chemistry and Psychology.  

What is your favorite part about working at Kemin?  There are numerous things that I genuinely enjoy about Kemin but one of the reasons I take pride in being a part of this organization is due to the emphasis we place on implementing our core values into everything that we do.  These core values do not just stem from one place, they are what the founders abide by and what we embody to resemble. Here at Kemin my colleagues are innovative, passionate, respectful, and so much more. 


Mathieux Maillette de Buy Wenniger
Kemin Food Technologist, EMEA, collaborating with the UN World Food Programme

What is your favorite thing about working for Kemin?
My favorite part of working at Kemin is that I get to meet people from all around the world, working for Kemin, but also for the World Food Programme. It’s an interesting mix of people and you’re always able to ask each other about your expertise or for advice. I think that Kemin is a very open company. People are very much interested in helping you out when you first start working here and it makes you feel really welcomed.

Do you have any advice for new employees?
Yeah, I think you should just use your time to learn, ask a lot of questions, and also don’t be afraid to make any new suggestions. You might come up with a nice idea!

Do you have any cool projects you can talk about?
I’ve been working on several projects for the World Food Programme. One is on high energy biscuits, where the World Food Programme is thinking of changing the recipe or the specifications.

Tell us something fun!
In my spare time, I am a silversmith, meaning that I create objects out of a sheet of copper or silver and I hammer it into a larger shape, such as a goblet or a plate. And I also do bee-keeping, which I enjoy very much. I like working on a hive, and also observing the bees is very interesting.


We proudly reached our bold company vision in 2017. Read about it here! We could not have touched over 3.8 billion people’s lives with our products and services without our valued global team members. This year, we will be featuring Kemin employees from around the globe and highlighting how their stories are an integral part of our story and mission to serve our customers and community.

WE ARE KEMIN. We are visionaries who see things differently and are inspired by the world around us. We have been dedicated to using applied science to improve the quality of life for over half a century. Committed to feed and food safety, Kemin maintains top-of-the-line manufacturing facilities where over 500 specialty ingredients are made for humans and animals in the global feed and food industries, as well as the health, nutrition, beauty and textile markets.  We provide product solutions and options to customers in more than 120 countries. A privately held, family-owned and operated company, Kemin has more than 2,300 global employees and operates in 90 countries including manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.