AMES, Iowa — Iowa State Univ. recently announced that Terry Houser will take over as the extension meat specialist of the Meats Laboratory program at the school.

Houser will replace Joe Cordray, Ph.D.,who retired this month after more than 50 years of professional work with the Iowa State Meat Science program. For the last 25 years, he held the title of extension meat specialist and professor of animal science. 

“First and foremost, I wanted the people to have a good educational experience. But my second priority was for them to have fun,” Cordray said.

Cordray also held a wide variety of workshops for private industry, including Smithfield Foods, and workshops focused on regulatory compliance and quality control.

Houser previously worked in meat science positions at Kansas State Univ. and the Univ. of Florida. He received his Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Iowa State.

“Dr. Cordray has been a mentor my entire career,” Houser said. “His mentorship has been invaluable to me in helping me get to where I am today.”

In his statement, Houser praised the Meats Laboratory in Ames as a model for the rest of the nation, especially for processed meats. He said as other meat laboratories have declined in number and faculty it will be important for Iowa State to step up.

“It’s more important than ever that we get good information to our meat processors because we don’t have as many people doing this,” Houser said. “As we move forward, we’re going to have more and more opportunities to educate our industry.”

The Meats Laboratory is a federally inspected facility, with complete slaughtering and processing capabilities of all major livestock meats, and poultry. Most of the animals processed are from the university’s own farms, and are harvested for teaching, research and extension purposes.