Texas Tech University’s continued partnership with Cargill, one of the nation’s leaders in developing and providing food and agricultural products for the public, has resulted in a new position in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR).
Dale R. Woerner, a meat science researcher who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas Tech, will start this fall as the Cargill Endowed Professorship in Meat Science Sustainability in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences. The position was made possible by a $750,000 donation from Cargill in May 2017.
“I am looking forward to working with an internationally recognized research program and an elite faculty specializing in meat science and food safety,” Woerner said. “The students at Texas Tech, both graduate and undergraduate, are second to none, and I am very excited to engage with them and move them forward toward careers in the meat and food industry.”
Woerner has served the last nine years as a professor of meat science in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, where he earned his doctorate in 2009. He also has served as a member of Colorado State’s Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence (PRSE) and the university’s Center for Meat Safety & Quality.
“Dale Woerner is an excellent choice for the first holder of Cargill Endowed Professorship,” said Michael Orth, chairman of the Department of Animal & Food Sciences. “His knowledge of meat science and the industry undoubtedly will enhance our ability to generate new ideas and train students for careers in companies like Cargill.”
Woerner’s research and teaching focus is on meat quality, processing, cookery, flavor and nutritional value as well as red meat composition, yield and international marketing, innovative carcass cutting strategies, meat shelf life and livestock quality management systems.
He also oversaw the Colorado State meat judging team, perennially one of the best in the nation, from 2007-2018. He served as the Texas Tech Meat Judging Team coach in 2004 while pursuing his master’s degree, leading the 2004 team to four victories that season, including the reserve national championship. As an undergraduate student, he was part of the 2001 meat judging team which earned a reserve national championship. In 2003, Woerner was honored as the Outstanding Student in Animal & Food Sciences as well as being honored with the highest academic achievement in Animal Sciences.
In 2018 Woerner earned the Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumni Award for CASNR. He is a widely published researcher and collaborator who has been a presenter or invited speaker on numerous subjects. He also has been a part of research projects that have generated more than $11 million in external funding, including more than $8.8 million as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator.
“Dale Woerner brings high-quality science and an international reputation in meat science to the Cargill Endowed Professorship at Texas Tech University,” said William F. “Bill” Brown, dean of CASNR. “His skills and teaching/research program will not only add a new dimension to our overall meat science activities, but will add opportunities for collaborations with existing programs, which will further increase the capacity and productivity of our meat science program at Texas Tech.”