The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) hosts two PORK 101 courses every year at differing locations throughout the U.S. Program sponsors are the National Pork Board, Merck Animal Health, and Smithfield Foods. PORK 101 partner organizations include: 

  • American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP)
  • North American Meat Institute (NAMI
  • Southeastern Meat Association (SEMA
  • and the Southwest Meat Association (SMA).

Last year, AMSA and our members updated and revised the course content to bring participants the latest information. We are also offering smaller group sizes for each event to bring attendees more hands-on opportunities as they learn from our instructors. Attendees will experience firsthand the swine industry from live animal production through finished pork products. The course concludes with the attendees preparing and sampling products from pork carcasses including pumped loin, bacon, ham, and sausage.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the value differences in swine, pork carcasses, pork primals, and processed pork products from meat science faculty and AMSA members at each university.

The program features: 

  1. General Production Practices
  2. Hog Handling
  3. Grading and Live Hog Evaluation
  4. Lean Value Pricing
  5. Quality Management at Slaughter
  6. Hands-On Pork Slaughter
  7. Measuring Carcass Quality and Composition
  8. Hands-On Pork Carcass Fabrication
  9. Processing Technologies and Hands-On Lab
  10. Retail and Consumer Hot Topics.

Past attendees of the AMSA PORK 101 course attest to the importance of attending:

  • “Thoroughly enjoyed the classes, teacher, doctors, and classmates. Certainly, an excellent opportunity for anyone in the pork industry. 2.5 days of solid information.” 
  • “Thank you for making this program engaging and enjoyable! I wish I could have taken this class much earlier in my pork career! So beneficial!”
  • “The hands-on cutting session was awesome- the explanation of it was much easier on a smaller scale than getting it explained in a plant.”

Registration for AMSA members and other partnering organizations is $950. Non-member registration is $1,150. Space is limited to the first 24 people so make sure to register soon!

AMSA is an organization recognized for its unmatched competence and commitment to attracting and developing meat industry leaders and providing science-based meat research and information. For more information or questions regarding PORK 101 please visit: or contact Deidrea Mabry

Dr. Marianna Behrends is AMSA’s project coordinator.