Jimmy Wise


Sponsored by the AMSA Educational Foundation R. C. Pollock, Vern Cahill and Robert Bray Mentor Recognition Funds

The R.C. Pollock Award honors a dedicated AMSA member whose work through teaching, extension, research, or service represents an extraordinary and lasting contribution to the meat industry.  No one more appropriately fits that description than Dr. Jimmy Wise.

Dr. Wise received his B.S. degree in 1967 from Oklahoma State University and in 1967 began graduate study at the University of Nebraska, receiving his M.S. degree in 1970 and his Ph.D. in 1977.  In 1970, he accepted a full-time Instructor- Extension Meat Specialist position, which he held through 1977.  During his tenure at Nebraska, Jimmy coached the meat judging team and co-coached the meat animal evaluation team, taught carcass and live animal evaluation, slaughter and processing, and general meat classes. Dr. Wise's expertise in all aspects of live animal, carcass and meat product evaluation was utilized to develop a wide range of programs for producers, youth, locker plant operations, teachers, extension personnel, and professional workers throughout the state of Nebraska where his curricula stressed the importance of objective animal and carcass evaluation techniques.

In January 1978, Dr. Wise joined the Meat Standardization Branch as a Meat Marketing Specialist of the Food Safety and Quality Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. His primary area of responsibility was beef carcass standards where he was instrumental in establishing and maintaining U.S. beef grading standards.  During his tenure with USDA, Dr. Wise served the industry as an integral member of the National Cattlemen’s Association Carcass Quality Task Force and Instrument Grading Subcommittee, American Sheep Industry’s Lean Lamb Task Force, and Beef Improvement Committee’s ultrasound certification, among others. He was also an essential member of research teams associated with Instrument Grading, the National Consumer Beef Study, National Beef Quality Audits, International Beef and Pork Quality Audits, Beef Customer Satisfaction, and numerous other marketing and quality-related studies.  In addition, Dr. Wise was intimately involved in the development of the Color Marbling Standards, and several training aids related to carcass maturity, carcass defects, yield evaluation and others used for grader training, industry and teaching.
Upon his retirement from USDA in 2005, Dr. Wise joined the staff of the American Meat Science Association serving as the Meat Judging Program Coordinator and staff liaison to the Intercollegiate Meat Coaches Association. After 9 years of service to AMSA and 44 years of being a part of the meat industry, Dr. Wise once again retired.

Dr. Jimmy Wise is one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of meat evaluation and grading. Through his role at USDA he served as an advisor to the industry and was an integral part of research teams across the country. He is a true student and scholar of the history and research literature relative to grade standards.  And, as the livestock industry has pursued the "War on Fat" and "Value-Based Marketing," he was an active and willing participant in endeavors designed to reduce the waste fat on cattle, sheep, and swine.

During his career, Jimmy Wise participated in approximately 240 Meat Judging contests.  He coached University of Nebraska to National Championships in 1967 and 1974.  Since 1978 he has been on 61 committees (18 as Chair), served as Grader at another 63 contests, and was Contest Coordinator of 77 contests. He was a founding member of the Intercollegiate Meat Coaches Association and served as director and President in 1975.  Through Dr. Wise’s devoted service to meat judging, he has impacted thousands of individuals, countless meat industry employees, and many leaders in our industry.  

For these reasons among many others, Dr. Jimmy Wise is a deserving recipient of the R.C. Pollock Award. 

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