Colorado State University is the state’s Land Grant University and the Department of Animal Sciences is responsible for educating approximately 800 undergraduate and 50 graduate students at any given time. The CSU main campus sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains one hour north of Denver in Fort Collins, Colo., and offers a wide cross-section of the livestock and meat industries and their trade organizations.
The Department of Animal Sciences is home to world-renowned researchers including animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin and beef cattle nutrition pioneer Dr. John Matsushima. The CSU Center for Meat Safety & Quality (CMSQ) consists of a multidisciplinary group of meat scientists whose individual programs focus on addressing a variety of national and global issues related to meat safety and quality. The CMSQ is among a select group of 19 programs at CSU that have been designated as Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence. The CMSQ at CSU has most recently been involved with research projects including the 2011 National Beef Quality Audit and updating the USDA’s Nutrient Database of Standard Reference for beef and veal cuts.
The CSU Center for Meat Safety and Quality also oversees the undergraduate Meat Judging Teams, Meat Science Quiz Bowl Teams, and Meat Animal Evaluation Teams. Each of these teams is comprised of undergraduate students studying animal science or a related agricultural field. These teams are generally coached by a current graduate student in meat science. CSU’s student judging teams have been very successful in recent years, earning 2 National Championships and 1 Reserve National Championship in Meat Judging, as well as a National Championship in Meat Science Quiz Bowl and a Reserve National Championship in Meat Animal Evaluation.
In order to raise money to cover the costs of competition for these teams, members of all the teams work for a catering business overseen by the CMSQ. The catering group prepares full meals for groups across Colorado, each event drawing anywhere from 10-750 guests. They even catered for a group of White House staff and Secret Service agents during a visit to campus by President Obama last fall. It goes without saying that their specialty is meat -- prime rib, steak, smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked pork loin and hamburgers. The prime rib in particular has become so popular that it is sold by itself as a fundraiser during the holidays. However, even though the catering business is a great fundraiser, it also allows students to learn food safety concepts and interact with consumers.
Colorado State University is a member of the American Meat Science
Association. For more information about Colorado State University and its faculty, please visit the AMSA website at http://www.meatscience.org/page.aspx?id=50.