Short courses

Iowa State University Meat Lab Short Courses Return for 2022

AMES, Iowa – A keen interest in the beef processing industry leads Iowa State University’s Meat Sciences Laboratory to offer its second “short course in fresh beef” in less than ‘a year.

The course, which is designed to provide hands-on experience for participants who want to expand their knowledge of the beef processing industry, will be offered March 22-24 at the university’s meat lab.

Interest in all types of meat processing remains strong following market disruption caused by COVID and the long-standing trend of consumers wanting to know more about the product they are buying, said Terry. Houser, associate professor and Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Popularization at Iowa State.

Meat processors in Iowa and across the country have experienced an unprecedented backlog of processing orders, and there is increased interest in expansion and growth.

“If a processor can come in and do a good job and produce high-quality products, I think they’re going to have pretty good consumer demand going forward,” Houser said.

Although COVID may be temporary, he said consumer interest in their food and where it comes from is here to stay, especially among millennials.

“This generation isn’t going anywhere and when they have kids of their own, they teach them the same values ​​about product quality, variety and where they come from,” Houser said.

In addition to the fresh beef course, the lab has over half a dozen other courses planned, covering fresh pork, sausages, dried snacks, food safety and more.

Course participants range from those looking to enter the meat industry to those already working in the industry but wanting more education on the specifics of meat processing.

The cost of the Fresh Beef Short Course is $1,595 and includes course materials, hands-on training, three days of lunch, and an evening reception.

Full course details can be found on the Meat Science Short Courses webpage at, including registration deadlines. Certain registrations may be capped, in order to guarantee the possibility of interaction for participants.

Classes scheduled through September include:

  • Short Course of Fresh Beef (March 22-24)
  • HACCP Workshop – Spring (March 29-31)
  • Short course of dry and semi-dry sausages (April 12-14)
  • FSIS Des Moines District Food Security Summit (April 21)
  • Sausage and charcuterie (July 18-22)
  • Snack Stick and Jerky Short Course ***New Course*** (September 13-15)