The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has announced that Dr. Mark Miller, Professor and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science at Texas Tech University, is the recipient of the 2016 Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award. The award is sponsored by Food Safety Net Services and Agri-West International. Dr. Miller will be honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in San Angelo, Texas.
Dr. Miller has sustained an incredible pace to simultaneously pursue excellence in two demanding aspects of meat science, coaching winning teams and conducting noteworthy research. Dr. Miller has mentored and coached 293 meat team members across 32 teams at the world class level. Collectively, his teams have retired 23 championship cuts, unprecedented since the start of meat judging in 1926. A total of 110 of Mark’s students have moved on to coach multiple judging teams at 4-H, FFA, division A and senior division levels, also with success at both the state and national level. Among this talented group are Gretchen Mafi (Angelo State & Oklahoma State University), Dale Woerner (Colorado State University), Keith Underwood (South Dakota State University), Clint Alexander (Garden City Community College), and Tim Tatsch (Hondo FFA). Each of these alumni coached ten or more meat judging teams. Mark has coached seven 4-H teams, hosted 500 to 600 kids at various meat judging camps, and has participated in 33 coaching clinics. On an international basis, Mark has led efforts to create the Honduran Meat Judging Program and has assisted with the Australian ICMJC since 2011. The evidence of his exceptional leadership has inspired an increasing number of students to participate on judging teams. Under his coaching, the average team size has grown from 4.6 students to 14.5 students to date.
Dr. Miller has generated an overall interest in meat science that has led more than 100 former meat judging team members to work under him in a graduate program and perform some of the most time consuming and rigorous research studies. Dr. Miller has extensively investigated the effects of growth implants and feed additives on beef quality, consumer satisfaction and red meat yield. He has investigated the impacts of implants and beta-agonists on carcass cutability and meat characteristics to ensure the beef marketed to consumers meets their demand for consistent and pleasurable eating experiences.
Mark and his coworkers at Texas Tech University have ongoing studies in Latin America including Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Mexico to improve the safety of meat being imported into the U.S. Mark has a focus on developing international research partnerships and has collected carcass data, food safety samples and conducted consumer studies in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, France, Japan and Korea. He has had more than 35 students intern on international research internships during the past 6 years. To date, Mark has served as investigator or co-investigator on projects totaling more than $36 million resulting in more than 200 referred journal articles, 15 books and book chapters, more than 320 technical articles, 342 abstracts and 2 U.S. Patents.
There is no doubt Dr. Miller is passionate about meat judging and the impact it makes on the lives of students across the United States and around the world. His service to the meat judging community by producing future leaders to sustain the success of the program and industry are unparalleled. In the words of his nominator, Gordon Davis, “Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant is widely known as the greatest college football coach ever. Mark Miller is the greatest meat judging coach since the program began in 1926.”