Gordon W. Davis earns top American Meat Science Association honor
By: Norman Martin
Several highly recognized animal science standouts associated with Texas Tech's Department of Animal & Food Sciences were presented research, service and student awards on Tuesday (Jun. 27) at the American Meat Science Association's 76th Reciprocal Meat Conference awards ceremonies in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Gordon W. Davis, a longtime supporter and former faculty member with department, received the American Meat Science Association's R. C. Pollock Award. The honor is a dedicated AMSA member whose work through teaching, extension, research, or service represents an extraordinary and lasting contribution to the meat industry.
“These award recipients reflect the long-term commitment to excellence in the meat science program at Texas Tech University,” said Clint Krehbiel, Dean of the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. “We are proud of all these former faculty, alumni, and students. It is very fitting that Gordon win the R. C. Pollock Award. Dr. Davis was the faculty member who established a pattern of excellence in Meat Science at Texas Tech University. He continues to set a high bar and inspire our programs.”
A Lubbock businessman who spent 10 years as an associate professor in the college, Davis and his wife, Joyce, gave a $44 million donation to the college in 2022, which represented the single largest philanthropic donation to Texas Tech in school history and one of the largest investments in people and programs in an agricultural college in the U.S.
The Davis family's has a strong legacy of giving over the years. In 2006, the $500,000 Gordon W. Davis Meat Science Enhancement Endowment helped maintain facility equipment and support teaching, outreach and research activities in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences. The meat science laboratory building on campus bears the Gordon W. Davis name. At the same time, Davis also gave $500,000 to establish the Gordon W. Davis Endowed Chair in the department.
Davis, who earned bachelor's degrees in agriculture science and education from Washington State University and a doctorate in meat science from Texas A&M University, spent the early part of his career as an instructor and faculty member at several colleges. He began as a high school instructor in the late 1960s and later was an instructor at Texas A&M while finishing his master's and doctorate requirements. He then spent three years on the faculty at the University of Tennessee and a decade at Texas Tech.
In 1990, he left to enter the private sector. He was the founder and chairman of CEV Multimedia Ltd., one of the nation's leading producers of career and technical education materials. In 2021, CEV was sold to The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm.
Texas Tech's Department of Animal & Food Sciences also had three distinguished alumni win prestigious honors. Mandy Carr-Johnson ('94 BS Food Technology, '95 MS Food Technology, '99 PhD Animal Science) was recognized with the AMSA's Signal Service Award. She currently serves as senior executive director of the National Cattleman's Beef Association in Loveland, Colorado. The honor 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. All Signal Service Award winners—current, past and future—are designated as an American Meat Science Association Fellow.
In addition, Eddie Behrends ('92 BS Animal Production, '99 MS Animal Science) from San Angelo, Texas, was recognized as the 2023 AMSA Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award winner. The Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award was established in 1993 to recognize outstanding contributions or service to the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Program. Meantime, Deidrea Mabry ('06 MS Animal Science, '03 BS Agricultural Communications) received special recognition during the organization's awards banquet. She currently serves as chief operating officer for the American Meat Science Association.
Separately, two Texas Tech Department of Animal & Food Sciences graduate students were recognized. Jacob Bagby ('22 BS Animal Science), a master's candidate from Stephenville, Texas, was honored with an AMSA travel scholarship, while Preston Twilligear ('22 BS Animal Science), a master's candidate from Hondo, Texas, received an AMSA Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award.
“I'm proud of the alumni and supporters who are being recognized for their significant impact on the meat science industry,” said Chance Brooks, Interim Chair of the Davis College Department of Animal & Food Sciences. “I am equally excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our current students in the department who are continuing to uphold the high standards of excellence we expect at Texas Tech.”
The AMSA has more than 1,000 meat scientists representing major university research and teaching institutions and meat processing companies in the U.S. and internationally. Program officials note that the AMSA discovers, develops and disseminates its collective meat science knowledge to provide leadership, education and professional development.
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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