Students learn animal physiology in the Pilgrim’s Poultry Harvest Lab.

As agriculture evolves in the 21st century, we need to prepare students to meet unforeseen challenges, such as becoming a vet that cares for companion animals or a scientist responsible for ensuring the safety of pet food.   Giving students a strong foundation in the basics and the environment to explore new areas will support food production in the new century. Instructional spaces will foster engagement with all aspects of meat science.

From traditional undergraduate and graduate education, to consumer outreach, to industry training, the new building will provide innovative spaces where:

students become engaged with the meat industry;
consumers can come to learn, understand, and appreciate meat and poultry;
industry personnel can be inspired to advance meat science and production.

Student learning continues outside the classroom at Bucky’s Varsity Meats and in the processing plant. Part of a mostly student-employee workforce, students gain hands on experience in live animal to ready-to-eat product production in the plant and create new, tasty products to enter in competitions. At Bucky’s they learn marketing, supply chain operations, customer service, data entry, and even social media promotion in a real-world setting. MSABD has attracted Life Science Communications students who explain to meat science to the general public and engineering students interested in the machinery in the plant.     

Going forward, MSABD will expand student learning opportunities through new undergraduate lab coursework to be taught in the BSL-2 lab; several internship opportunities in production, retail, research, and communications; and the recently inaugurated MSABD Lecture Series featuring renowned lecturers. Several foundational accounts are being revamped to reflect meat science in the 21st century and provide annual scholarships for graduate students. 

In total, MSABD is prepared to attract top talent in the meat science field, as well as a new potential faculty member specializing in meat microbiology.   

Continuing Education is provided by a plethora of Extension short courses/workshops taught at MSABD:

Basic HACCP Training
Advanced HACCP Training
Food Safety & Meat Microbiology School
Fresh Meats School
Meat Curing School
Wisconsin Food Safety Summit
Wisconsin Meat Processing School
Meat Snacks
Master Meat Crafters

The following undergraduate/graduate courses are currently taught at MSABD:

AN SCI/FOOD SCI 305 – Introduction to Meat Science and Technology
AN SCI 336 – Animal Growth and Development
AN SCI 375 – Special Topics

The 305 syllabus covers muscle ultrastructure, biochemistry (biochemical processes that turn muscle into meat, including energy storage as glycogen which is turned into lactic acid, changes in pH that have an affect on muscle color, adrenaline in stress animals leading to worse meat quality, and pH affecting water holding capacity [WHC]), muscle proteins (actin and myosin), filaments sliding past each other (contraction), fresh meat properties (color, WHC), nutritive value, non-meat ingredients (NMI) such as salt, instrumental methods (scientific instruments to measure meat quality – such as texture), and poultry processing. Harvest and fabrication processes, muscle anatomy, fresh meat properties, further meat processing, nutritive value, meat microbiology, texture and sensory analysis are also covered.

The 336 syllabus covers the growth of muscles and their composition as it relates to meat quality and quantity. The course explores how diet, hormones, and genetics impact the way muscles develop in domestic animals before and after birth.


ANSCI 305 With Dr. Claus

In the old MLB, a group of maybe 20 students would gather around the instructor for a demonstration and then break into small groups and try to recreate the demonstration from memory. At MSABD, students in small groups can watch the demonstration on tablets and ask questions and recreate the demonstration as it happens in real-time. The faculty have been finding creative uses for the technology at MSABD to be even more effective in the classroom.