Angelo State University unveils new initiatives
Featuring a multi-faceted bachelor’s degree program, state-of-the-art facilities and several new initiatives, Angelo State University’s Meat and Food Science Program offers students hands-on, experiential learning and research opportunities to prepare them for careers in all facets of the meat and food science industries.
ASU’s Bachelor of Science in food animal science and marketing incorporates several vital disciplines identified by industry leaders as important for successful and rewarding careers in the meat and food science industries, with special focus on the production of meat animals, the resulting products and their subsequent marketing. Our graduates are prepared for careers in new product development, quality assurance, food safety and state/federal inspection, as well as in supporting industries that include product packaging and live animal production.
Students majoring in food animal science and marketing participate in classroom, lab and research activities in our USDA-inspected Food Safety and Product Development (FSPD) Laboratory. The 8,000-square-foot complex houses animal harvest and fabrication floors, sensory evaluation equipment, a prep kitchen, a commercial cooler and freezer, a packaging room, classrooms and a retail room. It is a fully functioning muscle foods processing facility equipped to harvest animals, prepare fully-cooked products and conduct research, all while selling student-produced packaged meat products to the public in the ASU Meat Market.
Some of the student research projects utilizing the FSPD Lab facilities include meat quality, safety and shelf life; product development and utilization; lamb and goat research; and pre-harvest food safety and antibiotic resistance.
In addition to preparing students for careers in the meat and food science industries, ASU is dedicated to promoting diversity within those industries. Our program has been awarded a three-year, $270,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hispanic Serving Institutions Education Grants program to fund a project aimed at recruiting and preparing minority students for rewarding careers in meat and food science fields.
Another new program in our department is the Product Innovation Initiative (PII), which is a collaborative effort to assist local, regional and statewide producers with all levels of meat product development and improvement. With donor-funded construction underway, the new PII Center will complement the FSPD Lab in providing facilities for meat industry outreach, research and teaching that will provide an important culmination for our students’ degree programs and career preparedness.
Our meat and food science students are also encouraged to join our Meat Judging Team for further hands-on learning and the chance to travel and compete against their contemporaries at other universities. Our team claimed the American Meat Science Association’s Reserve National Championship in 2013 and won the Cargill High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest in 2014. We are also currently developing ASU’s first Meat Animal Evaluation Team that will be open to all our students.
Students can also join the Meat and Food Science Association student organization, which conducts catering events and raises funds for undergraduate research, scholarships and travel to national meetings.
Angelo State University was recently honored to be chosen as host of the American Meat Science Association’s 69th annual Reciprocal Meat Conference in 2016. Hundreds of industry professionals and students from throughout the country will get a first-hand look at why ASU has gained national recognition for its meat and food science program. We invite you to do the same at www.angelo.edu/dept/agriculture/meat_food_science/.
Angelo State University is a member of the American Meat Science Association. For more information about Angelo State University and its faculty, please visit the AMSA website at http://www.meatscience.org/students/graduate-programs/angelo-state-university