Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award goes to Miller
Mark Miller, a nationally-recognized animal science researcher with Texas Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has been selected to receive this year's American Meat Science Association Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award. The award is sponsored by Food Safety Net Services and Agri-West International.
Miller will be honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday (Jun. 21) in San Angelo. Miller is currently a Texas Tech professor of meat science and muscle biology, and the university's San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science.
Program officials note that Miller has mentored and coached 293 meat team members across 32 teams at a world-class level. Collectively, his teams have retired 23 championship cuts, unprecedented since the start of meat judging in 1926.
A total of 110 of Miller's students have moved on to coach multiple judging teams at 4-H, FFA, division A and senior division levels, also with success at both the state and national level. Among this talented group are Gretchen Mafi (Angelo State University & Oklahoma State University), Dale Woerner (Colorado State University), Keith Underwood (South Dakota State University), Clint Alexander (Garden City Community College), and Tim Tatsch (Hondo FFA). Each of these alumni coached 10 or more meat judging teams.
In addition, Miller has coached seven 4-H teams, hosted 500 to 600 participants at various meat judging camps, and has participated in 33 coaching clinics. On an international basis, he has led efforts to create the Honduran Meat Judging Program and has assisted with the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition since 2011.
"Through meat judging, Dr. Miller has positively impacted the lives of many students over the years," said Michael Orth, dean of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "The experiential learning and development that takes place while being on a team are hard to replicate in a classroom. What has been the most impressive to me is meeting many of his former students and seeing not only how successful they have become in their careers but also their exemplary character."
But Miller's reach doesn't stop at meat judging. Through his research into muscle biology and food safety, Miller has played a key role in helping underdeveloped areas of the world deal with hunger and food supply. Miller and other researchers have ongoing studies in several Latin American countries to improve the safety of meat being imported into the United States while also conducting research through carcass data, food safety samples and consumer studies in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, France, Japan and Korea. To date, Miller has conducted or assisted with research projects totaling more than $36 million resulting in more than 200 referred journal articles, 15 books or book chapters, 320 technical articles, 342 abstracts and two U.S. patents.
Prior to joining Texas Tech faculty in 1990, Miller served as a research associate at Texas A&M University and later an assistant professor of meat science at the University of Georgia. Miller received his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from Texas Tech. His doctorate in meat science is from Texas A&M.
The AMSA society supports the careers of scientists and animal producers in the United States and internationally, officials said. One of its goals is to foster community and professional development among individuals who create and apply science to efficiently provide safe and high quality meat defined as red meat (beef, pork and lamb), poultry, fish/seafood and meat from other managed species.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org