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MSU meat scientists showcase leadership during international conference

Thursday, August 26, 2021
By: Vanessa Beeson

Leadership by three Mississippi State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty members in a recent premier international meat science conference has contributed to the university’s robust reputation in this academic field.

MSU meat scientists showcase leadership during international conference Photo By: Submitted

Thu Dinh and Derris Devost-Burnett, both associate professors in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, and Wes Schilling, a professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, participated in the Reciprocal Meats Conference presented by the American Meat Science Association this month in Reno, Nevada. RMC is the flagship meat science conference internationally.

"Given that people from all over the world come to this conference as an authority on meat science, to have three faculty from MSU demonstrates we're making a national impact and garnering attention from colleagues all over the U.S. and world," said Devost-Burnett. "It shows that our programs at Mississippi State are piquing the interest of academia internationally."

Dinh, a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experience Station, received the American Meat Science Association Achievement Award, which recognizes young AMSA members who have made a significant contribution to the organization and the animal products industry.

"I am honored and humbled by this award because I know how many other great meat scientists are out there. Being recognized in your field is a great experience," said Dinh.

With 32 peer-reviewed publications and more than $2 million in grant-funded projects, Dinh focuses on applied research that can be readily delivered to industry and consumers alike.

Devost-Burnett, also a MAFES scientist, was an invited speaker for an RMC special session focused on the future of meat science in the university setting. He has been invited to join the AMSA's Committee on Membership and Outreach, which met for the first time at the conference, and he was elected committee chair.

Schilling, another MAFES scientist, served as conference chair for the event. In 2019, he was elected to the AMSA board and was designated to serve as the 2021 conference chair. Schilling said the hybrid meeting included approximately 750 in-person and virtual attendees. He has been a part of the organization for more than 20 years.

"In a lot of ways, MSU is becoming a premier meat science institute with several faculty dedicated to the field of study—Dr. Dinh, Dr. Devost-Burnett and myself included. That expertise, our state-of-the-art facilities and support from the university and the industry allow us to conduct vital research that benefits the industry and consumers while graduating outstanding students, he said.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station opened the state-of-the-art 15,000-square-foot Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory in 2018. The lab is operated for teaching and research of meats in the animal and dairy sciences and the food science, nutrition and health promotion departments.

For more information on the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, visit www.ads.msstate.edu. For more information on the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, visit www.fsnhp.msstate.edu.


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