The opening of one of the most state-of-the-art meat labs in the country deserves a little pomp and circumstance, especially since it’s a project that has been years in the making. Certainly, the opening of the new Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery building has been a highly anticipated event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for several years.

When a worldwide pandemic doesn’t allow for the kind of ceremony that the moment deserves, the school came up with a fun and informative virtual event at The site included speeches from Wisconsin state officials and school leaders, photos, biographies and even a Spotify playlist featuring some meat-tastic music. Who doesn't love "Cheeseburger in Paradise?"

“Even though we’re not able to invite all of you to personally tour the building, we’re glad to celebrate its completion and hope to give you a sense of the work we plan to conduct here,” said Steven Ricke, MSABD Director. “This new building promises to be an excellent home for current and future scientists. We plan to set the standard for how to conduct research on food safety and animal biologics among our peers.”

The 67,450-square-foot MSABD building represents an investment of more than $57 million dollars and has been in the works since 2012. It houses a state-of-the-art pilot plant, laboratory, the Bucky’s Varsity Meats retail store and some of the most innovative classroom designs in the country.

“Two modern lecture halls are connected by a chilled presentation room. From behind the large, insulated glass windows of this space, instructors can demonstrate important concepts to students, while the meat products they are referring to are kept at the appropriate temperature,” Ricke explained.

“This facility is so much more than a building,” said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank in her welcoming comments. “It’s an eco-system for collaboration that’s going to bring together researchers from many different fields. In partnership with industry, this building will help us develop new technologies, solve problems that industry partners bring to us, and, through our Master Meat Crafter Program, create entirely new products.”

“I am always blown away by the good work that happens on our campus. The work you all do improves how our industries operate, enhances our knowledge of the world around us and benefits not just every corner of our state, but every corner of the globe,” added Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “The research, learning and innovation that will happen here at the Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery Building will benefits students, consumers, and Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, now and into the future.”