"a direct impact on thousands of students of all ages..."
Dr. Craig Bacon, Senior Vice-President of Research and Development for Tyson Foods, has had an incalculable influence on students and young professionals interested in meat science. In his 27 years in the industry, he has mentored over 400 scientists. He also has had a direct impact on thousands of students of all ages with his leadership in 4H, FFA, and AMSA. Through Craig’s efforts, numerous students have been exposed to a world class research and development department, many for the first time. Craig's mentoring includes:
- annually hosting newly elected National FFA Officers to mentor them on presentation skills, networking, and corporate insight
- supporting numerous American Junior Hereford Association programs and activities
- speaking to students via RMC panel discussions regarding their preparation for and expectations of the working world
- initiating and championing several key student-oriented activities like Tyson's “Beyond Fresh Meats” short course, a robust summer internship program, and the sponsorship of AMSA Student Board of Directors activities and Collegiate Meats Judging
- hosting and presenting to numerous students through programs like AMSA Student Leadership Conference, Junior Livestock Associations, university food science & animal science clubs, and study tours
- as Adjunct Professor at University of Arkansas and University of Tennessee, providing instruction and serving on graduate committees
- hosting knowledge exchanges with university meat science programs to improve student curriculums
Craig is a native of Southwest Missouri and completed his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri. He then completed both a M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee in Food Science and Technology, joining Tyson Foods in 1990 as a Food Technologist. Craig was a past president of the American Meat Science Association and a frequent speaker on research and development in meat products. Additionally, Craig initiated the AMSA Sustaining Partner Student Development Program. Last year he was awarded the honor of being selected as one of American Meat Science Association's Fellows. He currently serves as Chair of the National FFA Foundation Sponsor Board.
Craig and his wife Debbie are the proud parents of three children, and they reside on a sheep and cattle farm in Northwest Arkansas.
Continuing the Legacy
Funds raised from the mentorship recognition will be used to endow scholarships for meat science students and meat judging contingency needs.