Since the late 1980s, first with Beef 101, then in the 1990s with Beef 706, and then later on with Pork 101, Meat Science graduate students in the Department of Animal Science have gained valuable teaching experiences through their work as cutting instructors for these courses. In each of these programs, graduate students lead cutting groups for these programs showing participants how and where to cut beef and pork carcasses ensuring that the quality of cutting is as good as it can be, and that appropriate safety measures are followed so that the risk of injuries are minimized.
The participants often ask graduate students about specific cuts and their uses, common and scientific names of muscles and bones, and grades and their applications. The graduate students will be involved in about 7 to 10 of these programs during the calendar year so a masters’ student will lead up to 20 of these groups, and Ph.D. students will lead up to 30 of these groups during their programs. This work also helps prepare them to be better teaching assistants for ANSC 307, ANSC 437, and other meat science courses they work with.
Without question, these and other extension/outreach programs conducted enhance the graduate student education experience. Many graduate students have been recruited for various jobs based on their exposure through programs such as these.