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Dr. Dwain Johnson Named as an AMSA Fellow and Signal Service Award Winner

Jun 16, 2019

Dr. Dwain Johnson Named as an AMSA Fellow and Signal Service Award Winner

AMSA announces that Dr. Dwain Johnson is a recipient of the 2019 AMSA Signal Service Award. The AMSA Signal Service Award was established in 1956 and is given to members in recognition of devoted service and lasting contributions to the meat industry and to the association. The Signal Service Award is sponsored by Cargill, Elanco Animal Health, and Johnsonville, LLC. Dr. Dwain Johnson will be honored on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 72nd Reciprocal Meat Conference in Loveland, Colorado.

Dr. Dwain Johnson has more than 35 years of experience in all phases of the meat industry. He obtained his B.S. in animal science at Texas A&M University in 1976 and a M.S. from Oklahoma State University in food science in 1978. While at OSU, Dwain coached the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Team under the guidance of Dr. Lowell Walters. Following the completion of his M.S., he became an instructor in the Animal Science Department at California State University- Chico while concurrently instructing at the USDA meat grading school. Dwain soon returned to Texas A&M University where he earned a Ph.D. in meat science and muscle biology in 1984. That same year he joined the faculty of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida as an assistant professor. Currently, Dwain is a professor of meat science and is involved in teaching and research, specifically focusing on antemortem and postmortem factors influencing animal composition and meat palatability.

Dwain’s research in this area has produced more than 250 publications with more than 90 being in refereed scientific journals. In 2002, Dwain and his collaborators conducted a series of research projects aimed at identifying undervalued portions of the beef carcass. In the largest study of its kind, he evaluated more than 5,600 muscles for flavor and tenderness. The crown jewel of his research findings has received national notoriety and is named the “Flat-Iron” steak. Today, the Flat-Iron steak is the nation’s fifth best-selling beef item. Recent figures show Flat-Iron steak sales now top 90 million pounds per year, compared to only half that number in 2006. In fact, the Flat-Iron steak outsells T-bone and porterhouse steaks combined in U.S. food service establishments.

As a result of his outstanding contributions to the beef industry, Dwain received the Florida Cattlemen’s Association “Researcher of the Year” award in 2003. In 2004, he and his co-workers received the International Meat Secretariat Prize for Meat Science and Technology in Winnipeg, Canada, for their significant contributions to the field of meat science. This marked the first time U.S. researchers had received this recognition since the inception of the award in 2000. He was selected as the 2009 Advanced Degree Alumnus of Distinction at Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Johnson served as an official for many intercollegiate meat judging contests, was a member of numerous AMSA committees, served as an AMSA board member and was a recent research award recipient. Dwain was a board member of the Florida Beef Council for 19 years and is currently serving on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

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