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Mug shot of Mindy Brashears.

USDA deputy undersecretary of food safety to visit OSU

Friday, March 13, 2020

Oklahoma State University alumna and current U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary of Food Safety Mindy Brashears will visit the university’s Stillwater campus on March 26.

“Dr. Brashears will be giving a presentation, interacting with faculty and staff, and getting a firsthand look at ongoing research being conducted at various OSU agricultural and food-related facilities,” said Divya Jaroni, a onetime student of Brashears and current associate professor of food science in the university’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

Jaroni said details of Brashears’ time on campus are still being finalized.

“There is so much at OSU that will be of interest to Dr. Brashears, but we know she will have only so much time with us given her very busy schedule,” Jaroni said. “We plan to announce the time and place of her presentation when those details are set. It will be a fantastic opportunity to hear from one of the nation’s foremost food safety experts.”

Prior to joining the USDA, Brashears dedicated her career as a researcher to protecting the food supply by studying control mechanisms of foodborne pathogens, especially Salmonella, Shiga-Toxin Producing E. coli and Listeria monocytogenesin meat and poultry products.

Brashears grew up on a cattle and cotton farm in Wheeler, Texas, not far from the Oklahoma state line. The daughter of Gary and Becky Hardcastle, Brashears earned her bachelor’s degree in food technology at Texas Tech University in 1992. She then attended graduate school at OSU, where she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in food microbiology in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

“Dr. Brashears is the highest-ranking food safety official in USDA and works closely with the Food and Drug Administration director to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply,” said Tom Coon, vice president and dean of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Coon added Brashear’s visit to OSU will help inform students, faculty, staff and cooperating partners about emerging opportunities for scientists and the need for innovation.

“We’re proud to have one of our alumnae in such a prominent leadership role and extremely pleased to learn about the latest developments during her visit,” he said. “Food safety concerns and legislation have created demand for professionals skilled in food safety monitoring and assurance.”

The OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is comprised of the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and two state agencies: OSU Extension and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system.

MEDIA CONTACT: Donald Stotts | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-4079 | donald.stotts@okstate.edu

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