AFS’s Brashears tapped for nat'l Protein PACT Academic Advisory Council
By: Norman Martin
Mindy Brashears, a leader in food science at Texas Tech University, has been selected as an inaugural member of the Protein PACT Academic Advisory Council. The national group was formed to advise on research priorities and the latest evidence related to meat production and consumption.
The seven members are independent researchers from several of the nation's top universities with expertise encompassing environmental sustainability, human nutrition and development, and combating hunger. Protein PACT, which is short for People, Animals & Climate of Tomorrow, is a joint effort by The North American Meat Institute and partners to accelerate the entire animal protein sector's progress toward global sustainable development goals.
Advisory council members of the Protein PACT Academic Advisory Council include Brashears, as well as Adegbola Adesogan (University of Florida); Keith Belk (Colorado State University); Candace Croney (Purdue University), Craig Gundersen (Baylor University), Alexa Lamm (University of Georgia); and Jason Rowntree (Michigan State University).
Brashears is the former U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture in Food Safety, where she served the USDA as a political appointee from 2019-2021. She is currently the associate vice president of research within Texas Tech's Office of Research & Innovation, and a professor of food microbiology & safety within Tech's Department of Animal & Food Sciences. She also serves as the director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech.
Recent honors for Brashears include being named a Horn Professor (2022), the highest distinction a faculty member can receive from the university, by the Texas Tech University System. In addition, she is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has three spinoff companies based on her work. Her bachelor's degree in food technology from Texas Tech. Her master's degree and doctorate in food science are from Oklahoma State University.
Brashears is known for having a passion for food security and has led international research teams to numerous places across Latin America and the Caribbean to improve food safety and security in those sectors and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in developing areas. Her research broadly focuses on mitigation strategies in pre-and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance in agricultural ecosystems. Her interests are primarily in meat, poultry and vegetable products.
She has taught courses in food microbiology and food safety and has offered industry training in food safety and security. She has received multiple awards, including the IAFP Laboratorian Award, The AMSA Research and Industry/Extension Award and was named as a ‘Future Icon in the Meat Industry' by the National Provisioner magazine.
CONTACT: Clint Krehbiel, Dean, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or Clint.Krehbiel@ttu.edu
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Editor: Norman Martin
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