COLUMBUS — With the change from quarters to semesters at the Ohio State University, students were given the opportunity to major in meat science.
Dr. Henry Zerby, the leader in creating the new major, said the conversion to semesters was an opportunity to redesign the curriculum.
Zerby said meat science had been a minor, but the elevation to a major gives students the opportunity to become more marketable and creates better training opportunities. The major is training students for positions in food safety, product development and further processing across multiple species.
The class combination includes food science, meat science and animal science, and students will also be studying value added processing, food safety and niche marketing.
“The focus of the major is to give students a skill set that will make them more marketable,” said Zerby.
He added that the hands-on meat lab, combined with the classroom, gives the students advantages over others.
For the capstone of the major, students are asked to develop a niche product and create a marketing plan to go with it. Then industry officials are invited to attend and the students present the product as if the industry officials are bankers. The industry professionals then evaluate the students and their product portfolio.
Zerby said the interaction with the meat industry helps to ensure the students are marketable and the skills they are learning are what the meat industry needs.
Currently, there are 12 students enrolled, with a goal of reaching 50 students. Zerby said the interest has increased enough that a Meat Science Club was created.