Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery (MSABD) is a program within the Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences at UW Madison. The program traces its origins back to the 1930s, when Dr. Gus Bohstedt built what was the first slaughterhouse on a university campus. He wanted a place to study meat and the factors that influenced its quality.

Today MSABD, housed in a new building of the same name opened 2020, contributes to 21st century advancements in meat science and trains the next generation of meat scientists. Innovations range from cold plasma to automation, and research focuses on food safety, meat quality and development, and biologics, with capabilities from live animal to ready to eat product.

With a faculty and staff with over 200 years of combined experience and state of the art facilities, MSABD attracts talent from around the world. Extension bridges the gap between academia and industry, with short courses teaching the “how-to” of meat production and processing. The program’s more unique features, such as a CO2 stun pit and biosafety level 2 lab for the intentional introduction of pathogens, have already been used extensively in graduate student and faculty research. Together with grant funding and revenue from industry collaborations and workshops, MSABD is funded by USDA inspected meat products made on-site and sold in the program’s public facing shop: Bucky’s Varsity Meats.

A part of UW Madison’s agricultural land grant university tradition, MSABD closely collaborates with other related programs, departments, and agencies on campus, including:

• Animal & Dairy Sciences
• Bacteriology
• Pathobiological Sciences
• Plant Pathology
• Food Science
• Life Sciences Communications
• Biotron
• Food Research Institute

MSABD has played an instrumental role in the promotion of biologics. Before becoming MSABD, meat science at UW Madison discovered several important biologics. A MSABD undergraduate course aimed at business students explored the spin-off companies that successfully commercialized those biologics. The program recently successfully petitioned the American Meat Science Association to add a biologics symposium to its annual Reciprocal Meat Conference, beginning 2023.

Collaborating with MSABD on R&D in the pilot plant or on product validation makes the benefit of the program as a resource clear to industry partners, many of whom donated to the construction of the new MSABD building, but MSABD also improves daily life for the general public:

• Biologics research helps prevent heart disease in humans and leads to the development of new pharmaceuticals.
• Food safety research makes even non-meat food safer to eat and reduces spoilage, which reduces waste and costs.
• Outreach has assisted the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin increase their food security.
• Continued research on the characteristics of meat results in more nutrition and better quality in not only meat, but alternative protein products as well.
• Design efforts create safer working conditions and more humane animal handling in production facilities.
• New artisan products offer novel taste experiences and value-added economic security to Wisconsin’s meat industry.
• Helpful student employees at Bucky’s Varsity Meats teach shoppers about where their food comes from and offer cooking tips.

Want to learn more? Check out our brochure, poster display, newsletters, tour script, virtual tour, and rate sheets* – or schedule an in-person tour or send us a message.

*Please note, MSABD resources are hosted on Constant Contact.