The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) has announced that Kevin Myers is the recipient of the 2018 Meat Processing Award. The award is sponsored by Smithfield Foods. Dr. Myers will be honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 71st Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. Myers was raised in the small southcentral Iowa town of Mount Ayr. His father was the meat market manager at a local grocery store, and that is where he first earned the appreciation of the meat industry. As an undergraduate at Iowa State University, Dr. Myers worked at the Iowa State University (ISU) Meat Laboratory; it was there that he received an even greater appreciation for the meat industry and meat science and technology. Before the completion of his bachelor’s degree, members of the ISU meat science faculty convinced him to continue his education and work towards his M.S. degree in meat science.
Dr. Myers’s professional career began at Oscar Mayer Foods, followed by four years with Sara Lee Refrigerated Foods. He then joined the research and development team at Hormel Foods starting as a research scientist but was quickly promoted to development leader, group manager, and then director. While remaining an employee at Hormel Foods, Dr. Myers completed his Ph.D. at ISU. Shortly after, he was promoted to vice president and then senior vice president of Research and Development with added responsibility for Quality Assurance.
Throughout his career, Dr. Myers has demonstrated a sound adherence to scientific principles and the ability to implement policies based on them. He has consistently earned the respect of his peers through the use of research and data. His contributions to areas that directly impact the industry have set new standards in many cases. His guidance on combinations of antimicrobials and high-pressure processing opened new avenues of validations for conventional and natural cured products. His leadership on the development of the definition of the USDA natural standard has impacted the industry and continues to be a working model.