Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - 63

Photos: University of Wisconsin

T

hirty-one years after receiving his PhD in
Bacteriology and Animal Science from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Steven
C. Ricke has returned to his alma mater to
run the university's Meat Science and Animal
Biologics Discovery (MSABD) program. The
microbiologist and former professor of food
science at the University of Arkansas will
replace Dan Schaefer, PhD, former director of
the MSABD program and Ricke's PhD mentor
at UW, who retired in late 2019.
" The MSABD director position was highly
attractive to me because of the combination of
new world-class facilities being located on the
campus of one of the most highly respected
academic institutions both nationally and
internationally, " Ricke said. " I already knew
as a Wisconsin alumnus how special UW is,
and the chance to implement my research
experiences and develop a vision for the
MSABD program as the director was simply an
opportunity I could not say no to. "
The MSABD program is a subset of the
Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at
the University of Wisconsin. The university
celebrated a virtual unveiling of its new
MSABD building, a $57.1 million project more
than 11 years in the making, on Nov. 6. The
new 67,540-square-foot building will offer
top-notch teaching, research and outreach
capabilities featuring the latest sanitary design,
animal handling, harvesting, processing and
microbial research opportunities.
The building includes modern offices
and conference rooms and houses Bucky's
Varsity Meats retail store (formerly Bucky's
Butchery). It also houses a 21,400-square-foot,
USDA-inspected meat and poultry processing
facility and a separate Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) processing and laboratory facility for food
safety research.
Ricke and a team of visionaries at
the university are working to bring an
internationally renowned academic program
to meat science and agriculture students at the
university and beyond.
" Overall, my vision is to lead the University
of Wisconsin Meat Science & Animal Biologics
Discovery program as the director and build
a world-class program, " Ricke said. " More
specifically this means utilizing first-class
research facilities to accomplish cutting-edge
science that applies advanced scientific tools

for solving practical problems, encourages
entrepreneurship, and sets the standard for
how to conduct this type of research amongst
our peers. "

REPUTATION FOR RESEARCH
The opportunities for research as a part of
the MSABD program are endless. Research
stemming from federal grants, commodity
group projects, industry-sponsored research
and fee-for-service type projects are all
possible at the facility. Both UW professors
and students will conduct research in the new
MSABD building, and industry stakeholders
will be able to be involved in mutually
beneficial projects.
" I have always been motivated to apply a
vision of interfacing fundamental academic
science with agricultural industry interests
to develop cutting-edge research that has
an immediate practical application and/or
addresses an urgent need by the industry, "
Ricke said. " I have found that some of the
best science actually comes from deriving a
scientific solution to a practical issue. "
The building's new self-contained
6,350-square-foot Biosafety Level 2 laboratory
provides research opportunities beyond
the scope usually found in university meat
science programs.
" The new Biosafety lab facility offers the
ability to externally inoculate meat carcasses
with known quantities of specific pathogens
and track them through the entire process, "
said Cindy Austin, BSL-2 operations manager.
" This can be done with a wide range of meat
animals and foodborne pathogens and can
potentially include longitudinal studies with
incoming live animals already infected with
a foodborne pathogen. It was important to
include this capability in our new building
as there is a tremendous need to evaluate
antimicrobial and processing interventions of
interest to the meat industry. "
The lab features all the typical equipment
contained in a meat processing plant: grinders,
mixers, injectors, tumblers, a sausage
stuffer, bowl chopper, vacuum packager,
two smokehouses, impingement oven,
kettle, griddle, combi-ovens and an intensive
chilling unit.
The facility has the capabilities to allow
researchers to conduct lethality, growth and

" I think this
is critical for
me in my role
as director to
begin to develop
potential
matches between
the research
being conducted
and the needs
of the meat
industry. "
- STEVEN RICKE

www.meatpoultry.com | 01.21 | MEAT+ POULTRY

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Meat+Poultry - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - January 2021

Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - 1
Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - 2
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Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - 66
Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - vdg - 1
Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - vdg - 2
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Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - marel - 1
Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - marel - 2
Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - marel - 3
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Meat+Poultry - January 2021 - marel - 8
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