NAMA issues scholarships, awards at conference
The NAMA Scholarship Foundation was pleased to announce last week the undergraduates chosen as recipients of scholarship grants for the 2013-14 academic school year. The awards were presented during the NAMA Meat Industry Management Conference on March 21, by Foundation President Ron Gustafson.
Frank DeBenedetti Scholarship: Daniel Neely, Kansas State University
Florence Powers Scholarship: Lindsey Turner, Texas A&M University
Al Piccetti Scholarship: Hope Voegele, Texas A&M University
Lou Gast Scholarship: Brittany McDaniel, University of Florida
NAMA Scholarship: Kathryn Sands, Purdue University
Don & Jana Clift Scholarship: Chelsea O’Diam, Ohio State University
These $2,250 to $2,500 merit-based awards are presented annually to undergraduate students studying animal/meat/food science and considering a career in the meat industry. NAMA Scholarship Foundation (www.meatscholars.org) would also like to extend its gratitude to the scholarship review committee, which consisted of Dr. Bob Delmore, Colorado State University; Dr. John Henson, CA State University-Fresno; Ron Richard, University of Idaho; and Shane Oesthaler, Carlton Farms.
The NAMA Scholarship also announced a new culinary arts/science scholarship that will be named the Bobby Hatoff Scholarship. This will be the first scholarship of its kind and it will be awarded in 2015.
In addition to its scholarship awards, NAMA granted Dr. Guy Loneragan of Texas Tech University its Harry L. Rudnick Outstanding Educator award at a ceremony held during the annual meeting.
Dr. Loneragan is a veterinary epidemiologist and Professor of Food Safety and Public Health at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He has served as a member of NAMA’s Salmonella Think Tank, and is performing beef check-off funded Salmonella research on NAMA’s behalf. Additionally, Dr. Loneragan traveled with NAMA staff to help establish a relationship with CDC that has furthered other beef check-off funded research. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, International Association of Food Protection, Academy of Veterinary Consultants (for which he serves on the Board of Directors), the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (for which he is part of the Salmonella Working Group), Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, and American Association of Bovine Practitioners.
"He is very deserving of this great honor," said NAMA Co-President Tony Gahn, Jr., of Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Gahn Meat Company, Inc., during the awards presentation held at the association's Meat Industry Management Conference.
The Outstanding Educator’s Award has been presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made in the field of food science education since 1969 and is named for the first executive vice president of the National Association of Hotel and Restaurant Meat Purveyors.
NAMA gave its Angus Award to Ron Gustafson, chairman of Vernon, California-based Coast Packing Company. Gustafson was instrumental in shifting Coast Packing Company business towards edible rendering and refining of animal fats and oils, and today Coast is one of the largest animal fat and vegetable oil shortening manufacturers in the western United States. He is a former board member of NAMA predecessor National Meat Association, and was awarded the association's highest honor the E. Floyd Forbes. He is also President of the NAMA Scholarship Foundation.
"Ron has contributed greatly to this association over the years. He has overseen the development of the NAMA Scholarship Foundation. Under his guidance, the Scholarship Foundation has granted tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to exceptional undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the Animal, Meat and Food Sciences," said Gahn during the awards presentation held at the association's Meat Industry Management Conference.
The Angus Award has been presented in recognition of prolonged, sustained, and devoted service since 1958.
The association gave its highest honor, the E. Floyd Forbes Award, to longtime staff member Ken Mastracchio. As former Executive Associate Director of Regulatory Issues and current Associate Director, Ken Mastracchio provides exemplary regulatory assistance to NAMA members and has done so since he joined the staff in May of 1993. He works hard to keep NAMA members in operation, and has helped them to be the best operators possible. Whether removing regulatory roadblocks, finding consulting experts, or alerting members to new challenges, Ken is steadfast in standing by members during times of crisis. He has a B.S. in Agricultural Science from Ohio State University.
"This award is presented annually to a person who has distinguished himself, in this case, through his service for greater than twenty years to the members of our organization," said Gahn .
The E. Floyd Forbes is named for the visionary who guided formation of the NAMA's predecessor the Western States Meat Packers Association in 1946. It has been presented annually for excellence, commitment and dedication to the industry since 1957.