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National Hog Farmer


CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, IL — Ken McMillin, Professor of Animal Sciences and Food Science, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.; Dr. Thayne Dutson, Director of the Sun Grant Western Regional Center and Reuba Long Endowed Professor, Oregon State University; and Dr. Paul T. Berg, Professor of Animal Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, were the recipients of the 2009 American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Signal Service Award. The awards were presented on Tuesday, June 23, at the 62nd Annual Reciprocal Meat Conference held in Rogers, Arkansas. The AMSA Signal Service Award was established in 1956 and is given to members in recognition of devoted service and lasting contributions to the meat industry and to the association. The awards are sponsored by Elanco Animal Health, Johnsonville Sausage Company, and Keystone Foods.

AMSA Signal Service Award recipient Dr. Paul T. Berg, Professor of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, joined the university as an Associate Professor in 1966. Berg has served as a teacher and mentor, while establishing himself as a renowned meat judging coach, influencing students, fellow faculty, colleagues and his universities’ curriculum in his 30 years as a meats coach. He is a three-time past president of the Meat Coaches Association, and founder of NDSU’s “Carnivore Catering” student organization, which has raised more than $450,00 through event catering. The club’s activities help defray students’ meat science education costs while training future meat scientists to plan, prepare and serve meals to groups as large as 4,000. Additionally, Dr. Berg was integral in creation of NDSU’s Beef Systems Center for Excellence, and is a 2006 recipient of the North Dakota Stockman’s Association Lifetime Membership Award.

AMSA Signal Service Award recipient Dr. Thayne Dutson currently serves as Director of the Sun Grant Western Regional Center, and is Reuba Long Endowed Professor. Dutson formerly served as Dean of the College of Agriculture Science, and as Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Oregon State University, Corvallis. He holds degrees from Utah State University, as well as Michigan State University, where he studied under supervision of Dr. Albert M. Pearson, and the University of Nottingham, England. Dr. Dutson has authored text books on topics including meat processing and meat quality attributes, and advances in meat research. His efforts have been recognized with awards from the American Society of Animal Science, and the Institute of Food Technology. Dr. Dutson’s research, conducted with associates at Texas A & M University, has included the exploration of methods to improve meat tenderness, and findings regarding the origins of PSE muscle condition in pigs. He is an alumnus of the AMSA Board of Directors, and was the 1988 recipient of AMSA’s Distinguished Research Award.

AMSA Signal Service Award recipient Dr. Ken McMillin is Professor of Animal Sciences and Food Science at Louisiana State University and Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Iowa State University, and is a former Fulbright Senior Specialist to Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa. Dr. McMillin developed live animal selection classification, carcass evaluation and a fabrication guide for the meat goat industry, and led development of the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications for fresh goat in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service and Southern University personnel. Dr. McMillin has participated in collaborative research with five universities, served as publication reviewer for 12 scientific journals and three USDA granting agencies, and has numerous publications to his credit. Dr. McMillin also is a former member of the AMSA Board of Directors, who served on numerous committees.

The American Meat Science Association professional society was formally incorporated in 1964. Its unique role is to provide the forum for all interests in meat—commercial, academic, government, and consumer—to come together in a reasoned, scientifically based atmosphere to address the needs of the processing and marketing segments of industry, the consuming public, its own members, and others in the biological and nutritional sciences.