University Highlight- The Ohio State University

Sep 13, 2019

Incredible meat scientists gain their knowledge through experience not just in the workplace, but through education and opportunities provided in and out of a classroom. The American Meat Science Association would like to take an opportunity to showcase those universities who help students grow into successful individuals. A new project for AMSA’s consumer website, “The Meat We Eat”, involves getting to know these universities important to meat science. This week’s university showcase is The Ohio State University.

 

The Ohio State University was founded in 1870 as the first land-grant institution in the State of Ohio and one of the original land-grant institutions in the nation. Its original name was the Ohio Agricultural & Mechanical College (Ohio A&M), focusing on agricultural and mechanical disciplines before becoming the more comprehensive institution, The Ohio State University, in 1878. When it comes to meat, Ohio State was the tenth institution to offer a meat science program following the University of Minnesota in 1893, who later helped to pioneer the program in Ohio. The Ohio State University hopes to help its students connect the scientific principles to the end-product through hands-on experience. Today, the Meat Science Teaching Laboratory on campus is a fully functioning and inspected meat processing facility. While the basics of harvesting and fabrication techniques are some classes available, students also have the opportunity to learn a variety of topics including HACCP Certifications, bar-b-que sciences, and product development and branding for those more interested in marketing and consumer trends.

Getting to Know The Ohio State University:

How is your university setting itself apart in the field of meat science food science?

“The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) takes the land-grant designation very seriously; CFAES seeks to spotlight agricultural science-based solutions by promoting programs within the college. When it comes to meat science, CFAES understands the role it plays not only in academic preparation of future meat scientists and contributions to knowledge repositories for meat scientists, but also the need for growth and support within the great state of Ohio (i.e. livestock producers, meat processors, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and our agricultural industries). We are fortunate to institutional support at both the college and departmental level.”

What do you see as your role in the meat industry/food science industry/animal agriculture sector?

“I believe my role as an educator is to share educational information to our producers, youth, and food/meat industries. It is critical for those who are involved in the livestock and meat industries to understand how they are connected. Also, I strive to teach how livestock practices (including animal welfare and understanding animal behavior) will have an impact on the end product. I serve to connect the dots to an array of audiences.”

Best advice for students to succeed at any university if they choose to follow the meat/food science path?

“As a student, understand the connections and impacts of livestock practices (ex: welfare, feed, environmental conditions, injections, etc.) on meat quality. It’s important to always have a good foundation of the entire process from ‘Farm Gate to Dinner Plate.’ Finally, know that there are opportunities around every corner, so don’t be afraid to use your personal and professional resources.” 

Dr. Lyda Garcia, a professor at The Ohio State University, wanted to add additional thoughts to the article, emphasizing the importance of not just their own program, but meat science as a whole. They stated simply:

“To all students, ‘Know your position in life. Stand strong. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with others who may or may not be aligned with our industry. Remember, you are our future. You have the power to better it all.’”

 

Thank you, Dr. Lyda Garcia, for being our spokeswoman for The Ohio State University and being a leader for students in the industry. The support of universities who excel in meat and food science are essential to growing industry leaders for the future.

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