AMSA Director and 2018 RMC Chair Dale Woerner Ph.D. discusses the new things coming up in 2017 for the associations student programs as well as what makes these programs so unique.

Andy Hanacek: I’m here to talk to you about the American Meat Science Association’s student programs. So for some of our viewers out there who may not be necessarily familiar with what AMSA has to offer, why don’t you give me a brief overview of what is available in terms of student programs that AMSA throughout the year?

Dale Woerner: AMSA is very unique in its student programs. We have students involved in their undergraduate careers and graduate careers including masters and Ph.D. level. We even expand down into the 4H level with meat judging at the youth level and then intercollegiate meat judging for those college students, both at junior college and four-year university level. Those events do occur all year long in addition to meat judging which has multiple contests throughout the calendar year. There are also multiple leadership events hosted by the students. Those programs are put together by the students at the request of the students in our association.

Hanacek: I think you were saying earlier that it goes beyond collegiate. It’s high school level as well. Talk about how you even reach below the collegiate levels.

Woerner: The programs that we’re offering in the youth program, mainly meat judging, goes all the way down to the elementary level. Some may start as early as six, seven, eight years old in those meat judging programs. Of course, there are high school experiences and go on to junior colleges and four year universities to be involved in meat judging. Meat judging is overseen and sanctioned by AMSA and is a big part of the student program.

Hanacek: For our main viewership, our main viewers are the processors themselves, talk about how they can get involved and support some of these student programs, because I’ve seen at RMC the sheer amount of students you have involved. Maybe there are processors out there who want to help you guys shape the industry, the youth, the next generation, but maybe they don’t know how. So how can they get involved.

Woerner: Our student membership is unique in that they are interested in the meat industry. For someone that is working or companies that are operating in the meat industry, there is no better opportunity to get in front of a targeted group of students by hosting them for leadership events, offering internships, and then advertising their job opportunities on our career center webpage. I know most of our students at the university go to that career center webpage to find their first job, to find their first internship, and the more familiar they are with your company, the better off they are going to be.

Hanacek: So is there anything coming up in 2017 that is new or innovative in terms of the programs you guys are offering, or is this working and we are going to keep going the way we are.

Woerner: Some things that are new is that we have industry partners that are hosting process meats clinics for our students for the first time. That’s going to be an off campus experience in these corporate offices, corporate R&D facilities. Students are actually staying the night. That’s being sponsored by the outside industry. That’s something brand new that our students are really excited about this year. Student leadership conference occurs every year. Hundreds of students are coming to that to learn about leadership skills and professional skills.