American Meat Science Association prepares students for successful careers
The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) is a broad-reaching organization of individuals that discovers, develops, and disseminates its collective meat science knowledge to provide leadership, education, and professional development. Our passion is to help meat science professionals achieve previously unimaginable levels of performance and reach even higher goals. AMSA is the premier provider of learning and knowledge for the meat science discipline. Our association delivers innovative learning experiences, opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration and leadership development programs designed to advance the meat science discipline.
AMSA currently has 645 undergraduate students and 260 graduate students that make up the student membership. Through this membership the students are given extensive opportunities to compete, gain leadership skills, receive mentorship from professional members, build a network of lasting relationships and position themselves for successful careers.
Competition comes in multiple forms for students and allows them to grow and expand their knowledge. One of the largest contests the students participate in is Intercollegiate meat judging. Currently 133 students from both junior and senior colleges are competing in the meat judging program. When we look at the make-up of the AMSA membership many of our graduate students and professional members competed in the meat judging program as well. This program has been credited for teaching students life skills, expanding their knowledge of the industry, and preparing them for careers in a wide variety of professions.
Additionally, both undergraduate and graduate students are given the opportunity to compete in research competitions, during the annual Reciprocal Meats Conference (RMC). These research competitions require the students to prepare both a visual aid and a short oral presentation on their research. This competition has continued to grow over the years and is projected to be the largest it has ever been during the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) in 2020.
Furthermore, the students have the opportunity to compete in product development contests during the annual RMC. Students can participate with students from other universities in the Iron Chef competition. Finally, during RMC undergraduate students are given the opportunity to showcase their knowledge in the quiz bowl competition. This allows students to gain a deep understanding of meat science history and current practices and compete against each other and the clock to showcase their knowledge.
Leadership continues to be a focus for the development of the AMSA student membership. One of the opportunities that exists within the student membership is to serve on the Student Board of Directors. The board is composed of eight students from different regions of the United States that work to develop activities and programs throughout the year for the entire student membership. Through this work the Student Board of Directors hosts a conference each year dedicated specifically to the leadership development of the students. The Student Leadership Conference provides the students vast information from professionals in many different fields and aids in them becoming better prepared for successful careers. Additionally, prior to the conference students are invited to visit different production facilities and expand their knowledge of other areas within the industry. Finally, a concept that is still new to the association is the Student Training and Engagement Program. This allows sustaining partners at the level of gold and above to develop content and a conference for students and host them at their facilities.
Networking and relationship building are a part of every activity students are involved in. From attending the RMC where there is a mix of both students and professionals, to events designed to develop relationships, the students are exposed to professionals in a wide array of settings. A student-mentorship program was developed years ago and serves as an initial meeting place for many of these relationships. Students have met their future major professors, work colleagues and bosses during these sessions. Also, each year AMSA hosts a career fair which allows companies to gain access to the hundreds of students interested in the industry and allows the students to meet those interested in hiring for both internships and professional careers. Finally, many professional members work with students to mentor their future decisions and career via contact outside of AMSA planned events.
AMSA continues to focus on development of new and existing programs that will allow students to continue to grow and expand their knowledge and network within the industry in order to help position them for successful careers. If you are interested in becoming more involved in with AMSA now is the time to register for your student membership. Opportunity awaits!
You will want to become a member before registering for the 2020 ICoMST/RMC which will be hosted at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. With your student membership you will be eligible for a student rate registration. ICoMST is only hosted in the United States about every fifteen years. Make sure you are a part of this once in a decade meeting and that you become involved in the many student activities hosted by AMSA by signing up now for your student membership.
For more information about AMSA, visit www.meatscience.org.