KSU ASI’s Chao presented AMSA Distinguished Achievement Award

Michael Chao, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry assistant professor, was presented the 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award by the American Meat Science Association. The award recognizes young AMSA members who demonstrate significant skills in muscle foods research and technology that contribute to the animal products industry and the AMSA.

The award was presented Tuesday, June 27 during the AMSA 76th Reciprocal Meat Conference awards presentation.

“Michael is a well-deserving recipient of this award from AMSA. The award recognizes his excellent research and contributions to the meat industry and AMSA. Congratulations!” said Mike Day, K-State ASI department head.

Chao is a meat scientist with research interests in meat lipidomic and developing niche meat processing techniques to serve the needs of domestic-ethnic and international markets.

He grew up in Taiwan until the age of 15, when his family moved to the Los Angeles suburb of San Marino. A desire to be a veterinarian led him to University of California, Davis to major in animal science. The introduction to animal science class his freshman year opened his eyes to the opportunities in livestock production. He earned both his bachelor’s (2007) and master’s (2011) degrees from UC Davis and then his doctorate in animal science with a specialization in meat science and muscle biology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

As an assistant professor at K-State, his appointment is 60% research and 40% teaching. In his role at K-State, he has taught the Meat We Eat Cat Community, Undergraduate Research-Meat Science Section, Advanced Meat Science, Fresh Meat Technology and the Meat Science Seminar.

Chao has conducted and published research work related to goat meat quality. He has published 24 peer-reviewed papers, 34 research reports and 56 scientific abstracts with 17 funded grants totaling more than $800,000 awarded as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator.

Kansas State students presented with AMSA award

The annual American Meat Science Association Reciprocal Meat Conference was hosted June 25-28 in St. Paul, Minn. Several current Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry undergraduate, graduate students, faculty and alumni received awards.

Chesney Effling, Stephanie Witberler and Sara Hene were presented 2023 Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Awards. This award recognizes outstanding undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in the meat science industry.

From Highmore, S.D., Effling was a member of the 2022 reserve national champion meat judging team. Upon graduation in May, Effling plans to pursue a master’s in meat science.

Hene, Aurora, Ill., also plans to work on her master’s in meat science following graduation in December.

Witberler, Edgar, Wis., graduated from K-State ASI in May and will be pursuing a master’s in meat science at K-State. Witberler was a member of the 2021 reserve national champion meat judging team.

“These three young women exemplify the high level of excellence, passion and dedication that the meat science program at Kansas State is built on,” said Travis O’Quinn, K-State ASI associate professor and meat judging team coach. “They truly personify all of the characteristics this award from AMSA honors. We are extremely proud of them and look forward to all of their great accomplishments in the future.”

The K-State Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team received Reserve National Champion honors at the quiz bowl competition hosted with the RMC. This annual event challenges students on their knowledge of all aspects of meat science. The team competed against 34 teams from 20 universities, which is the largest competition in the event’s 21-year history.

Team members include Effling; Witberler; Hene; Ellie Kidwell, Walhonding, Ohio; Rebecca Donaldson, Berryton, Kan.; Katrina Turner, Hopkins, Mich.; Delaney Shaw, Tulare, Calif.; Ava Perrier, Eureka, Kan.; Jack Kress, Randolph, N.J.; Katelyn Wallace, Casstown, Ohio; Charles Bunker, Mebane, N.C.; Taylor Dieball, Little River, Kan., and Samuel Stickley, St. Paris, Ohio. Erin Beyer, a recent ASI doctorate graduate, served as coach.

“Being named the Reserve National Champion Meat Science Quiz Bowl team is the best finish in the history of the event for K-State,” O’Quinn said. “Congratulations to all the students and their coach, Erin Beyer.”

K-State graduate and doctorate students were recognized as well. Beyer placed second in the doctorate student poster titled “Evaluation of fresh vs frozen beef strip loins of equal aging periods on palatability traits and physiochemical properties.”

Linnea Rimmer, graduate research assistant in meat science, placed first with her poster titled “Investigating the metabolic changes that accompany skeletal muscle maturation.”

Grace Corrette, graduate student in meat science, placed third with her poster titled “Evaluating the impacts of using electrostatic field assisted thawing on frozen beef quality.”

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