STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State Univ. (OSU) hosted the American Meat Science Association’s (AMSA) Pork 101 course from Sept. 13-15 at the university’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center (FAPC). MEAT+POULTRY was honored to have an editor invited to attend and participate in the the course. Staff at FAPC, as well as instructors and graduate students from OSU’s Meat Science department guided students through the two-and-a-half day, hands-on workshop, which covered everything from live hog evaluation to taste tests of products produced from recently slaughtered animals.
Classroom instruction included talks on pork quality, different models used in the industry for value pricing and purchasing, humane handling, defects in processed pork, a review of the Oklahoma pork industry and more. However, the bulk of the learning took place in the pens, on the kill floor and on fabrication tables.
Students at Pork 101 watched and learned as experts demonstrated the evaluation of live market hogs in addition to carcass grading, and the slaughter procedure from stunning through evisceration and splitting. On the second day, the evaluated carcasses were fabricated by the students with the oversight of professors and FAPC staff, giving attendees a hands-on look at the technique and expertise required to produce pork products that are commercially produced.
Additional activities included sausage making and tasting, curing ham and bellies for bacon and taste testing everything fabricated by Pork 101 participants, as well as the technical aspects of grading color, marbling and fat vs. lean percentages.
The next Pork 101 event will take place at Iowa State Univ. in Ames Oct. 24-26. This course is sold out but AMSA will post the next class once the date and location is determined. Upcoming events are posted on AMSA’s web site at www.meatscience.org/events-education.