Eric D. Bastian was born in central Utah and reared on a dairy farm. He obtained his education at Utah State University with a BS degree in Dairy Science, and MS and Ph. D. (1989) degrees in Nutrition and Food Sciences. He spent one year (1989-1990) as a research fellow with the Danish Government Research Institute for the Dairy Industry in Hillerod, Denmark. Subsequently, he returned to post-doctoral work at Utah State University (1990-1992).
In 1992, Eric accepted a faculty position at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and for six years he led a research team focused on milk protein and enzyme chemistry, process cheese functionality, and milk protein fractionation. In 1998, he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. In the same year, he accepted a position with Avonmore West (now Glanbia) as Director of Research & Development (R&D) and relocated to Twin Falls, Idaho.
Eric was promoted to Vice President of R & D for Glanbia Nutritionals in 2006 and, in addition to Glanbia Nutritionals, he began leading the cheese R&D for Glanbia Foods in 2013 (both divisions were part of Glanbia PLC). In 2015, Glanbia restructured its entire Nutritionals group of businesses creating one single business unit. As part of that restructuring, Eric was promoted to Senior Vice President of Innovation. During his time at Glanbia Nutritionals, he developed a research team, starting with 5 people and building to the current team of 80. His work with Glanbia focused on whey proteins, cheese, specialty grains, aseptic beverages and flavors.
In July of 2016, Eric joined the United Dairymen of Idaho as Vice President of Industry Relations.
Eric is married with five children and lives in Twin Falls, Idaho. He enjoys many outdoor activities including snow and water skiing, gardening, camping and fishing. He also likes to read historical and classical literature.