AMES, Iowa—Steady interest in the beef processing industry is prompting Iowa State University’s Meat Science Lab to offer its second “Fresh Beef Short Course” 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 the 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 in 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, including registration deadlines. Certain registrations may be capped, in order to guarantee the possibility of interaction between participants.
Classes scheduled through September include:
(article and photo provided, ISU Extension and Outreach)