Ram Country Meats provides educational opportunities for Animal Science students

Graham Shapley

Tucked away in the corner of the Animal Sciences building, there’s a modest hallway. A small computer showing off various cuts of meats and their prices sits on a desk, right next to a small rack of beef sticks.

beef jerky
Ram Country Meats is located in the Animal Sciences Building and hosts meat sales every Wednesday through Fridays from 12 to 6 p.m. The meat sold includes a wide variety from beef jerky to large cuts of fresh beef. (Matt Begeman | The Collegian)

Everything is clean and feels clinical, with a student associate waiting to greet visitors. This is the headquarters of Ram Country Meats.

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“It’s kinda one of the best-kept secrets,” said Bob Delmore, professor for Colorado State University’s Animal Science’s department and the meat lab.

For the past three years, Ram Country Meats, formally the CSU Meat Lab, has been providing cuts of meat at “competitive prices” to meat-lovers all over Fort Collins. 

The way that Delmore sees it, the meat lab isn’t just an opportunity for members of the public to get their hands on local product, but also an opportunity for the student employees to experience priming and selling meat products. 

“We learn to fabricate lamb carcasses, beef carcasses and pork carcasses,” said Kacey Buttrick, an animal science major who can rattle off an impressive list of products, including meat patties, ready-to-eat jerkies and beef sticks. “It’s just kind of a full-functioning butcher shop, but it’s run by students.”

According to Delmore, having the shop operated by students is an important factor.

Ram Country Meats is currently taking order for beef, lamb and pork at ramcountrymeats.colostate.edu

“If I can’t find a benefit for undergraduates, we don’t do it,” he said. “I teach for a living, and so everything I do gets to be very focused [on that].”

Sierra McCormick, who is graduating in December with a degree in animal science, feels that working for Ram Country Meats has improved her chances in the field.

“I’ve had a couple of companies interested in me coming to work for a beef plant,” McCormick said. “I can go in there and already kind of know what’s going on without walking in completely blank-minded. I already know the basics, and they don’t have to teach that to me.”

construction on campus
The Animal Sciences Building is currently under construction as it receives a new addition of the JBS Food Innovation Center. (Matt Begeman | Collegian)

The new addition to the Animal Sciences building, the JBS Global Food Innovation Center, has been followed by controversy from concerned students since its announcement. Now near completion, Delmore has high hopes for what it will mean for the store. Ram Country Meats will no longer have to hide away.

“We make do with what we have, and we work hard to expand that,” Delmore said. “When it’s complete, we pick up everything that is Ram Country Meats, and we move it into the building. We’re in an older facility right now, it’s functional but it’s smaller. This is nothing but a positive development.”

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The new facility will provide more space for students to learn in a proper retail area, with additions such as new ovens in which meats can be made and prepared. While the construction is necessary, it’s not without its problems. There are times accessibility has been a problem, but Delmore is happy with the community’s reaction.

“Our customers are very loyal to [CSU],” he said. “They love the university, and they love interacting with students. During the construction, they’ve been very patient with us.”

Graham Shapley can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @shapleygraham.