My courses focus on factors influencing growth and development of meat animal species, muscle to meat conversion, basic and advanced meat chemistry, carcass fabrication and further processing, non-meat ingredient usage in meat systems, and examine how these factors influence meat quality, shelf-life, food safety, nutritive value, and sensory attributes. Students also obtain a comprehensive understanding of foods derived from the egg and dairy industries: nutritive value of eggs and milk, their functional properties in food, and compositional characteristics.
I also manage the AnRS department's Clark Meat Science Center, which is a USDA-inspected meat processing facility used primarily for teaching and research. The Meat Center also offers workshops to extension faculty and the general public, covering carcass fabrication of livestock species, fresh and RTE sausage production, whole muscle meat processing, smokehouse use and thermal processing and food safety. In addition to these services the Meat Center operates an on-site retail store which is open to the public most Fridays from 12-5:30 PM. The store sells a variety of student-made products including fresh and cooked sausages, bacon, snack sticks, jerky, deli meat, steaks, roasts, smoked ham and turkey frankfurters and even dry cured/fermented meats.
I also serve as faculty advisor for the Meat Science Club. Through fundraising efforts, students in the club attend industry tours to network with professionals in the meat industry, attend meat science conferences and conventions, host workshops and outreach events, and develop a wide-range of new and innovative meat products.