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The Texas A&M University meat science program is planning a new, state-of-the-art center that will build on its legacy?

By Mamie Hertel '24
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When Dr. Jeffrey Savell ’75 took his first meat science class in 1973 in the 1932-built Meat Laboratory located in the basement of the Animal Industries Building, the idea of having a campus facility dedicated solely to meat science seemed preposterous. A few years later, however, he was directly involved as a young faculty member in designing what became the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center (RMSTC).

Since its doors opened in 1983, Savell has watched the center’s leaders drive the meat industry forward in research, teaching and extension efforts. Today, as vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, he is once again involved with the creation of a new center that has the potential to further cement Texas A&M University as a pioneer in the meat industry. “When we transitioned into the Rosenthal Center 40 years ago, it took the meat science program from good to great,” he shared. “This new center can take the program from great to best.”

When we transitioned into the Rosenthal Center 40 years ago, it took the meat science program from good to great. This new center can take the program from great to best.

Dr. Jeffrey Savell '75

The new facility, expected to open in the next five years on the RELLIS Campus in Bryan, will have updated meat coolers and laboratories and provide students with even more hands-on learning experiences by bringing carcasses, saws and grinders into the classroom. It will also house a state-of-the-art processing floor with more areas to view meat processing through glass enclosures.

With more than 75,000 square feet in the new facility, Texas A&M will have more opportunities to host industry seminars and extension efforts like its popular Barbecue Summer Camp, Camp Brisket and Beef 101 programs, as well as more 4-H, FFA and other youth events. “If we can fund what we envision, there will be no other campus meat science facility nationally that can compare,” said Ray Riley ’79 ’81, who manages the RMSTC.

With many changes on the horizon for the meat science program, the legacy of the current center’s namesake, Manny Rosenthal ’42, remains the heart and inspiration behind the new facility. Rosenthal, whose father founded Standard Meat Co., established the first endowed meat sciences chair in the country at Texas A&M. “Our grandfather was involved in building the first center,” said Ben Rosenthal and Ashli Rosenthal Blumenfeld, who run the family business now. “That building is an extension of him in many ways. There is a culture and spirit in the center, and we know it will continue at the new facility. Our grandfather would be proud to see where the program is today. It’s time to take it to the next level.”

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Pounds of beef, lamb and pork are processed at the Rosenthal Center annually.

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Research from Texas A&M's meat science program has impacted more than 70% of beef, sheep and pork consumers in the U.S.

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The Rosenthal Center has produced its famous Texas Aggie Brand Beef Jerky since the 1980s.

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The popular snack has achieved national recognition in the New York Times and on "CBS Sunday Morning," ESPN, and the SEC's Network's "Marty and McGee."

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With more than 14 meat science faculty members, Texas A&M has the largest meat science program in the country.


Since the Rosenthal Center was completed in 1983, more than 12,000 Aggies have taken Animal Science 307: Meats.

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Faculty in the meat science department have collaborated with more than 14 universities, 35 U.S. food companies, three federal government agencies and experts in at least 10 countries.

14 Universities

35 U.S. food companies

03 Federal government agencies

10 Countries

Since 1984, the Rosenthal Center has produced environmentally stable meat products for NASA's space shuttle missions and the International Space Station.

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16 National championships

The nationally recognized Fightin' Texas Aggie Meat Judging Program trains at the Rosenthal Center. The team has won 16 national championships in its history.

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The first Farm Meats course was taught at Texas A&M in 1926.


The Rosenthal Retail Center sells 100,000 pounds of meat each year. For just $5.25, students can get a sausage wrap and a soda—the "Aggie Special"—between classes.

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To learn how you can support the new facility and the future of meat science at Texas A&M, contact:

Scott Jarvis '00

Director of Development Texas A&M Foundation 800.392.3310 or 979.777.0309

  • Scott Jarvis '00

  • Director of Development
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Call: 979.777.0309

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