Iowa State University

November 1997

Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine and Natural Resources News from Iowa State University

Turkey tested in irradiation research

Safe, high-quality turkey is the aim of two irradiation research projects at Iowa State University. In one study, scientists are trying to determine whether packaging materials affect the quality of irradiated ground turkey, pork and beef. "Ground products are the most vulnerable for contamination because there's so much surface area where bacteria can get a foothold," said meat scientist Dennis Olson. Preliminary results suggest plastic packaging may contribute to increased ozone-like odors in irradiated ground products. Researchers also are using irradiation, high-pressure processing and cooking methods to produce a better turkey breast for military combat rations. "If we succeed, we'll have a product that can last three years at room temperature," Olson said. Contact Olson at (515) 294-1055 or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.

Veterinarians play major roles in food safety

Veterinarians often are the first line of defense in the nation's food safety efforts in meat, milk and eggs. The nation's food inspection system in meat packing plants is based on veterinarians, said George Beran, a food safety expert at ISU's College of Veterinary Medicine. He also said food animal veterinarians now work with producers to control foodborne pathogens, such as E. coli and salmonella, in livestock on farms. "If the pathogens can be reduced on the farm, it's less likely they will get into the food chain," he said. Contact Beran at (515) 294-7630 or Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778.

Lithuanian dairy officials on fact-finding tour through Nov. 8

A group of Lithuanian farmers, processors and government officials is visiting Iowa through Nov. 8 to learn about American dairy policy. "We want to help Lithuanian policymakers and the public evaluate the options available to them as they privatize and restructure their industry," said William Meyers, interim director of ISU's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. ISU and Land O'Lakes Inc., are hosting the visit. The exchange builds on ISU's previous collaborations with other sectors in the Lithuanian economy. Contact Meyers at (515) 294-6237 or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.

Off-campus agriculture classes offered

It used to be the only way the educational process occurred was for students and a teacher to meet face-to-face in a classroom. But those days are gone. The ISU Professional Agriculture (ProAg) program offers two off-campus degree programs, including a bachelor of science undergraduate program and a master of agriculture program. Students choose from 15 to 20 classes each semester using several delivery methods, including the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), the World Wide Web and videotapes. Course offerings will be the focus of nine meetings Nov. 17-Dec. 4 on the ICN. Contact Harold Crawford, ProAg program coordinator, (515) 294-7725, or Susan Anderson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.

Ag career day, Nov. 11 at ISU, reflects strong job market

More than 165 agricultural employers are expected at Iowa State University's Agriculture Career Day, Nov. 11, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union. The annual job fair, believed to be the largest of its kind in the nation, attracts about 2,000 students, alumni and other visitors. "Last year's job market for agriculture graduates was the best I'd seen in more than 20 years, and this year may top it," said Roger Bruene, ISU's agriculture placement officer. Contact Bruene at (515) 294-4725 or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.


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