On Friday, the meat science program eschewed traditional hard hats and shovels in favor of hair nets and food safe gloves to celebrate the launch of construction for the new Meat Science Building. Rather than a traditional groundbreaking event, they marked this milestone with a ham salting ceremony at DeJope Hall.

Donors, campus partners, department staff and others who aided the project salted five hams. The animal sciences department will carve and serve the cured hams to guests at the grand opening of the building scheduled for 2018.

Naturally, meat played a starring role at the event. Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Dean Kate VandenBosch, DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel, alumnus Christopher Salm and meat Extension Specialist Jeff Sindelar all spoke about connections between the university and the state’s $27 billion meat industry. The menu featured products from Bucky’s Butchery, including summer sausage, beef snack sticks, braunschweiger, pepperoni, BBQ beef brisket and bavarian-style bratwurst.

The new Meat Science Building, which will be built on the site of the current Seeds facility, will include ample space for hands-on teaching and training, production facilities to develop new meat products, laboratories to isolate pathogens for food safety research, collaborative space to discover new applications for non-meat animal co-products.

Chancellor Becky Blank
Chancellor Becky Blank addresses guests at the Meat Science Building ceremony.
salting ham
Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Dean Kate VandenBosch, DATCP secretary Ben Brancel, and alumnus Christopher Salm salt a ham.
whole group
Donors, campus partners, department staff and others at the site of the new Meat Science Building

Hear Jeff Sindelar talk about the new Meat Science Building in this podCALS:

Bucky’s Butchery will be located in the new Meat Science Building. The butchery is operated by a team of 10-15 undergraduate students who gain extensive experience in many facets of the meat industry including animal harvest, meat processing, product development and proper food safety procedures. Check out this video about Bucky’s Butchery and the students who run the operation, recently featured in a segment of Big Ten Network’s “Forward Motion.”