The American Meat Science Association announces that Mark Miller has been named an AMSA Fellow and is a recipient of the 2015 AMSA Signal Service Award. The AMSA Signal Service Award was established in 1956 and is given to members in recognition of devoted service and lasting contributions to the meat industry and to the association. The Signal Service Awards are sponsored by Cargill, Johnsonville Sausage Company and Elanco Animal Health. Mark Miller will be honored at an Awards banquet during the AMSA 68th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Lincoln, NE.
Miller earned his B.S. degree in Animal Science (1982, magna cum laude) and then completed his M.S. (1984) from Texas Tech University. In 1987, Miller received his Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science from Texas A&M University. From 1987-1989, Miller was an assistant professor in the Meat Science and Muscle Biology Section at the University of Georgia. He then became the director of research/development and quality assurance at Montfort of Colorado, Inc. from 1989-1990. In 1990, Miller joined the faculty of Texas Tech University as professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. In 2004, he received the San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science as well as in 2011 named the Horn Professor of Meat Science and Muscle Biology.
During his time at the University of Georgia, Miller teamed with Dr. James O. Reagan, developed three new meat science courses, graduated seven graduate students, published over 15 research papers and started a state-wide youth meat judging program. Miller left academia for work in the meat industry. He taught educational training programs in food safety, Total Quality Management, and Statistical Process Control programs for Monfort of Colorado. Miller implemented the first food safety (HACCP) program for the pork industry while at Monfort of Colorado. He developed an in depth research program with Dr. Rod Bowling that first discovered the use of vacuum packaging for pork, the use of organic acids as food safety interventions in pork and beef under industry conditions, and the use of beneficial microorganisms to inhibit the growth of pathogens on meat. Miller was also part of the team who first investigated the chemical dehairing of beef hides while at Monfort that was later implemented into the beef industry.
Miller returned to Texas Tech University and is currently serving as the San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science and Horn Professor of Meat Science and Muscle Biology. Miller has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses, and has advised numerous clubs. Dr. Miller’s experience in the meat industry has made him a leader in the areas of food safety and meat quality research. He is actively involved in research with collaborators at USDA, Cargill, Tyson, Merck, Nebraska Beef, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Dr. Miller has been instrumental in helping develop consumer thresholds for beef tenderness - generating more than 75,000 consumer observations for beef tenderness and overall palatability that are part of the database being used to establish USDA standards for beef tenderness claims. He has explored the effects of growth implants and feed additives on beef quality and cutability, as well as the impact of beta-agonist on meat characteristics to ensure beef served to consumers is of the highest quality. He has two patents for processes that improve beef tenderness and muscle color with electrical stimulation. Miller was one of the first to investigate many food safety interventions to reduce the levels of pathogens in meat products. Some include organic acids, pre-harvest dust control, the use of systems interventions in the harvest process and training programs for both US and international meat companies.
Miller has clearly demonstrated his ability to adhere to sound scientific principles to address “real world” issues and produce applicable results. To date, Miller has served as investigator or co-investigator on 245 projects totaling more than $22 million; resulting in 210 referred journal articles, 15 books and book chapters, more than 120 technical articles, 200 abstracts, and two US Patents. In addition, Miller has dedicated years of his life to the professional development and maturation of countless students. He has served as advisor to more than 60 graduate students and has developed a nationally-recognized meat judging program accounting for more than 80 contest wins and eight National Championships since 1990.