To commemorate its 50 year anniversary, BEEF Magazine has recognized 50 top beef industry leaders. H. Russell Cross has spent much of his career at Texas A&M University, and we celebrate his inclusion in this prestigious list. JWS
The contributions of H. Russell Cross to the beef industry include some of the most significant food-safety measures adopted in the latter half of the 20th century. Currently serving as a professor and head of the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Department of Animal Science, Cross boasts 40 years of experience in the food industry, holding or having held numerous positions in government, academia and the private sector.
Cross was the founding director of TAMU’s Institute of Food Science and Engineering. In 1994, as head of TAMU’s Center for Food Safety, he organized and led an international meat and poultry alliance that applied Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, a food safety protocol that revolutionized meat processing. Soon thereafter, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) began requiring HACCP in all domestic meat and poultry processing plants, along with foreign companies exporting meat to the U.S. The International HACCP Alliance today represents 24 food associations, 40 universities and the governments of 13 countries.
Cross was leader of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center’s Meat Research Group, and served as FSIS administrator from February 1992 to February 1994 under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He also served in several high-level positions within private industry’s food sector.
Cross lives in College Station with his wife, Elaine.