SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The new J and G Lau Meat Processing Center and teaching facility is opening at Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences in San Luis Obispo, Calif. An Oct. 21 grand opening is scheduled at the $6.5 million teaching and research plant, which spans approximately 15,000 sq. ft.

Students from a cross-section of disciplines will gain hands-on experience in all areas of meat processing, including humane harvest, fabrication, innovative ready-to-eat product development, food safety and packaging under one roof and the direction of expert faculty.

At this new facility, the Cal Poly Animal Science Department will offer meat production education from breeding selection to a safe and nutritional dining experience. The meat processing center will enable students to gain critical real-world experience in an environment that mirrors the industry they will enter. It will also serve as a site for industry research and product development, enabling Cal Poly students and faculty to collaborate with industry on leading-edge practices. The facility includes meat and poultry harvest labs, a fabrication lab, processing center, food safety lab, thermal processing kitchen and a ready-to-eat packaging lab.

More than $5.5 million of the cost of the center was funded by private donors including the J and G Lau Family, industry and friends of the university.

The facility will be open for public tours Oct. 22 from 2:00-5:00 p.m.