The first-ever American Meat Science Association (AMSA) virtual experience was held as AMSA hosted the 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) and the AMSA 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC), where science and inspiration met. AMSA was able to welcome the world’s meat science community via an exclusively virtual event thanks to our virtual platform sponsor Empirical. This program included four days of intensive technical and educational sessions from leading industry experts, both nationally and internationally, on a variety of topics.

Dr. Mindy Brashears, Under Secretary for Food Safety U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off the 66th ICoMST and the AMSA 73rd RMC on Monday, August 3, 2020 with her presentation titled “2020 Vision: Focus on the Future.” This session was sponsored by Food Safety Net Services. Dr. Brashears discussed how the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has met its food safety mission and ensured a safe supply of meat, poultry, and egg products during the COVID-19 pandemic. She presented the objectives of FSIS as they look to implement data-driven policies that protect public health. As FSIS leads with science, influences behavior changes, and builds relationships, they strive to "do right and feed everyone...safely!"

Headline speakers, Pierre Ferrari, Chief Executive Officer, Heifer International and Dr. Ronnie Green, Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln led fantastic discussions during the conference. Pierre Ferrari started off the international conference on August 3 with his presentation on “Big Impact Technology Solutions for Smallholder Farmers” sponsored by JBS USA Food Company. During this presentation, Pierre highlighted some of Heifer International’s most recent work in Nepal. The focus was on the goat meat infrastructure system and how they worked with farmers in Nepal to set up and produce quality, hygienic meat for markets in Kathmandu. Dr. Ronnie Green led the discussion on August 6, sponsored by Cargill, with his presentation on “Unlocking the KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) of Animal Protein Scientists for the Middle 21st Century.” This presentation dove into the challenges and professional skills needed to address global scientific challenges for agriculture, natural resources and food systems, with specific emphasis on animal protein fulfillment, in the 2030 era and beyond. The talk provided an overview of the anticipation of the demands for animal protein development and sustainability in the middle 21st century, and the anticipated KSA’s of the meat scientists of the future.

Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner were featured keynote speakers in the symposium entitled “Animal Welfare” on Tuesday, August 4. This symposium was sponsored by Merck Animal Health. During her presentation on “Livestock Handling at the Abattoir: Effects on Welfare and Meat Quality,” Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University Professor of Animal Science, and pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals, discussed solutions to improve animal welfare at the abattoir. Dr. Grandin was also the recipient of the 2020 AMSA International Lectureship Award sponsored by PIC.

Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner, Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, discussed “Poultry Welfare –Future Directions and Challenges.” This presentation, reviewed two such areas – one in which the direction of the consumer push for a specific change is not completely supported by the scientific literature, and the second, where environmental and economic factors may suffer as a result of the changes.

Dr. Frederic Leroy and Dr. Nancy R. Rodriguez were the featured keynote speakers in the symposium entitled “Meat in the Diet” on Monday, August 3. This session was sponsored by JBS USA Food Company. Dr. Frédéric Leroy, Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium addressed the consumer and the scientific community sharing insight into behavior toward meat in the diet to help attendees better understand in his presentation on “Meat in dietary policy: The place of meat in dietary policy: an exploration of the animal/plant divide.” Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut with joint appointments in the Departments of Kinesiology and Allied Health Sciences, gave her presentation on “The role of meat in healthy eating patterns: considerations for protein quantity and protein quality.” In this session, she reviewed recommendations and research specific to protein quantity and quality in the context of meat’s contribution to healthy eating patterns, current trends, sustainability, and the planet.

Other featured presentations included sessions on global outlook, contemporary issues and future challenges, fresh meat and muscle biochemistry, meat safety, new technologies and applications, product development and market opportunities, and much more! Attendees were given the opportunity to listen to engaging concurrent and reciprocation sessions over the course of four days from leading industry experts, both nationally and internationally.

Registrations can be still be purchased to have access to all content presented at the 66thICoMST and AMSA 73rd RMC for more information please visit: or contact Deidrea Mabry 1-800-517-AMSA ext. 12 or