The Meat Science Section at Texas A&M University is comprised of 16 faculty members and over 25 graduate students who contribute daily to the land-grant mission and core pillars of Texas A&M through research, teaching, and extension/service.
For many years, the Meat Science program has been considered among the top in the United States. Research focus areas include meat safety, biochemistry, quality, processing, sensory evaluation, and nutrition. Our program has been heavily involved in national beef tenderness surveys and quality audits, innovative processed meats technologies, the update of USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference for beef, validation of carcass safety interventions, and consumer acceptance of endpoint cooking temperatures for pork. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates participate in national and international meetings to disseminate research findings and determine the current needs our industry faces. These efforts help drive new and relevant research ideas that allow us to continue the development of new technologies, methods, and solutions that have relevance in everyday food production.
In addition to a broad spectrum of research efforts, our section offers an extensive roster of undergraduate and graduate-level courses that can be applied towards an Undergraduate Certificate in Meat Science, Graduate Certificate in Meat Science, or Graduate Certificate in Food Safety. Most recently, we have added a new graduate degree option to the catalog with a Master of Agriculture in the Meat Industry (MAgrMI). This program is designed to provide students with a skillset suited for future leadership of the U.S. meat industry through practical experience and supplemental coursework. To increase the appeal of this new degree option, the Don Rea Endowment Fund was recently established to support those students seeking a MAgrMI degree.
Extension and outreach to producers, youth, and industry members are a large part of our Meat Science program. In addition to housing both the International HACCP Alliance and the Texas Association of Meat Processors, we offer variety of workshops, courses, and camps to provide industry and youth education and training. We educate producers through our Beef 706 and Youth Beef 706 courses, industry professionals with options like Beef and Pork 101 classes, youth through a large number of 4-H and FFA activities, and those with an interest in processed meat products and barbecue with options like Barbecue Summer Camp, Camp Brisket, Creative Sausage Making, and Processed Meat Workshops, among others. Often, in cooperation with various trade organizations, we develop and deliver tailor-made programs for individual companies, chefs, breed associations, and visiting international delegations. We also coordinate training for USDA’s Enforcement, Investigation and Analysis Officers, and we conduct introductory and advanced HACCP courses for meat and poultry processing establishments. Meat Science faculty members also reach producers, industry members, and youth by contributing to a number of other workshops outside of our section, including Beef Cattle Short Course, Aggie Commercial Steer Camp, Grass-fed Beef Conference, and 4-H and FFA contests and clinics.
Our success would not be possible without our meat laboratory, the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center. Aside from producing the nationally recognized Texas Aggie Brand Beef Jerky, this comprehensive facility is designed to accommodate the teaching, research, and public service needs of our section and the Animal Science Department.
As a result of the many programs we offer, we have fostered strong relationships that have allowed the placement of our students in leadership roles in all sectors of industry, academia, and regulatory agencies.
Texas A&M University is a member of the American Meat Science Association. For more information about Texas A&M University and its faculty, please visit the AMSA website at http://www.meatscience.org/students/graduate-programs/texas-a-m-university.
Texas A&M University
Department of Animal Science
Meat Science Section
College Station, Texas
Section Leader - Dr. Jeffrey W. Savell