Oklahoma State University is celebrating 100 years of meat science during the annual Animal Sciences Weekend in early April.
The weekend will kick off with a scholarship banquet April 3 at the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development and run through April 5 with the Cowboy Classic production sale at the Purebred Beef Center. Highlights will include tours of the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, photos of the 50-year teams and online auction to support scholarships.
“As one of the premier programs in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, meat science has a longstanding reputation and tradition of excellence that continues to grow,” said Gretchen Mafi, a professor and Ralph & Leila Boulware Endowed Chair in the department.
“We’ve have had numerous undergraduate, masters and doctoral program graduates who have become significant leaders in the meat and animal industries worldwide. Our faculty over the last 100 years are still well known for excellence in teaching an research. We also have a meat-judging team at OSU which has won more national championships than any other,” she said, “This event is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate all the alumni, staff and faculty who have developed the legacy and tradition of OSU meat science, leading teaching, research and companies to produce high-quality, safe products.”
Meat science is the study of meat safety and quality from farm to fork. Researchers and students at OSU study red meat from basic science to applied practices. Their work has had a major impact throughout industry, she said, from small family farms to large corporation.
Oklahoma A&M College held the first annual Meat Retailer’s Short Course in 1934. By the 1950s the university assisted with the development and operation of the Oklahoma Freezer Operators Association, which later became the Oklahoma-Texas Meat Processors Association, which continues today and enjoys a vital partnership with OSU. To stay abreast of changes in regulatory and industry practices, the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center has provided thousands of industry workshops.
The food science major was added at OSU in 2006. As the food science program grew, the department saw the need for a name change, and in 2018 the it became the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
More information about the weekend event is available online at afs.okstate.edu/weekend.
For information about OSU’s first Meat Judging Camp, June 10-12, go to afs.okstate.edu/youth.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Brus | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-6792 | BBrus@okstate.edu