CSU Meat Lab offers students research opportunities

Amy Borngrebe

Tucked back in the corner of the Animal Sciences Building resides the Colorado State University Meat Lab, one of the University’s little known facilities on campus.

The lab serves as a meat processing and research facility for the Department of Animal Sciences. It has a number of functions, acting as an educational facility for undergraduate classes and graduate research, a catering kitchen and a store that sells the meat processed in the lab.


Brandy Marrinan, senior Animal Sciences mahor, at work in the CSU meat lab.
Brandy Marrinan, senior Animal Sciences major, at work in the CSU meat lab.

“The students during class and labs get some hands-on work directly with professors,” said meat lab manager Joe Bullard. “They learn the different aspects of meat processing.”

The lab processes primarily meats such as beef, pork and lamb. However, with graduate research projects, the lab has processed bison, goat and alpaca products. All meat products they work with come from CSU and other local farms.

“Right now, I’m doing research on different flavor profiles of different muscles,” said graduate student Tanner Adams, “We’ll grind these muscles up and cook them and then have a panel of judges judge their different tastes.”

The meat lab also employs students who have a specific interest in going into this field. Students get the chance to learn all the aspects of meat processing procedure so they are prepared when they graduate.

Brandy Marrinan, a senior animal sciences major, has been working at the meat lab for a year and has already secured a job after graduation.

“I have worked with cutting whole calves all the way to serving it,” she said, “I am really proud that I can do something not a lot people know how to do.”

The meat lab is open to the community Thursdays and Fridays, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Phase two of the construction of the Animal Sciences Building still needs funding, but when finished, the meat lab will have a retail store. Cuts can also be purchased online.

“Everything here is done by the students,” Bullard said. “It’s processed by the students and run by the students. They’re giving back to the University.”

Collegian Diversity Beat Reporter Amy Borngrebe can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @ABornCollegian.