The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) announces that Dr. Jeff Sindelar, Associate Professor/Extension Meat Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Extension-Industry Service Award. The award was established in 1965 to recognize outstanding achievement in meat science extension and service to the industry and is sponsored by the North American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF). Dr. Sindelar will be honored at an Awards banquet during the AMSA 68th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Lincoln, NE.
As the only meat extension specialist in the state of Wisconsin, Dr. Jeff Sindelar has a lot of ground to cover in supporting about 375 state inspected processors and locker shops as well as larger federally inspected companies. Since joining the faculty at UW in early 2007 Jeff has done this with exceptional energy, skill and enthusiasm. His signature accomplishment in this short time has been the conception and development of the Wisconsin Master Meat Crafter Program, a meat processing certification program held at the University of Wisconsin Meat Science Laboratory. The program is the first of its kind, where after a two-year training period of six multiple-day workshops on specific topics and an in-plant special project, students can be accredited as a “Master Meat Crafter.”
Jeff worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection to establish this program that has been instrumental in providing needed information and training for the Wisconsin meat processing industry. Two classes totaling over 40 people have completed the program, and they are now recognized as Master Meat Crafters. A third class of 26 students is currently midway through the program. In the words of one new Master Meat Crafter, “Now we’re doing a ton of different kinds of sausages, and everything is turning out just perfectly. And I don’t have to second-guess anything. I know that everything is exactly the way that I want it to be and it turns out the same every time.”
Dr. Sindelar also serves as technical advisor at the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP) and overseas their annual product show and competition. Since Dr. Sindelar has become involved, not only have the number of entries increased to over 1,000 each year, but the number of processors entering quality products has increased. Under his supervision the show has advanced regarding food safety and proper disposition of product entries. He annually evaluates the show and brings suggestions to the WAMP board of directors for improvements in the next year.
Through the years, Dr. Sindelar has gained national recognition, often being called on by the meat industry from states other than Wisconsin. His workshops are masterfully done. They include invited speakers from both industry and academia and a notebook full of useful information that participants take home with them for future reference. Jeff has made over 250 presentations to instate and out of state meetings, courses and workshops. Dr. Sindelar has developed a vast library of unique presentations on an extensive number of topics that he has given to statewide, national, and international audiences. Each year he receives more speaking invitations than he can accept. Another testament to his excellent national reputation is that he regularly furnishes technical articles to national meat industry trade magazines.
Dr. Jeff Sindelar was nominated by Andrew Milkowski, University of Wisconsin-Madison, who stated “Dr. Sindelar is an outstanding extension industry service specialist in supporting the small processor industry in Wisconsin and assisting companies nationwide in processed meat technology, and a truly deserving recipient of this year’s AMSA Distinguished Extension/Industry Service Award.”