AMES, IOWA – Iowa State University announced plans that its meat lab short courses will be available on campus again during 2022. The upcoming courses include “Fresh Beef Short Course,” between March 22-24.

“Interest in all types of meat processing remains strong following market disruptions caused by COVID, and the long-standing trend of consumers wanting to know more about the product they buy,” said Terry Houser, associate professor and Smithfield Foods chair in meat science extension at Iowa State.

Houser added that meat processors across the state and the United States experience an unmatched backlog of processing orders and there is an interest in expansion and growth.

“If a processor can come in and do a good job and produce high-quality products, I think they’re going to have some pretty good consumer demand going forward,” Houser said.

According to Houser, consumer interest in food and where it comes from has also increased in the last two years, especially in the millennial generation.

“That generation isn’t going anywhere and when they have their own kids, they’re teaching them the same values about product quality, variety and where it comes from,” he said.

Along with the beef course, the Iowa State meat lab plans to have other courses covering pork, sausage, snack jerky, food safety and more. 

Participants range from those looking to get into the meat industry, to those who may already work in the industry but want more education on the specifics of meat processing. The fresh beef short course cost is $1,595 and includes course materials, hands-on education, three days of lunch, and an evening reception.

More details on the short courses for 2022 can be found here