Blue Mountain CC adds to its FARM program

of Blue Mountain CC Students participate in a meat science laboratory class at Blue Mountain Community College.

Blue Mountain Community College students will have an opportunity to enter a new program in the Agricultural Science Department in 2017.

Thanks to community and industry support in passing the latest bond measure, meat/food science and processing will be part of the new FARM (Facility for Agricultural Resources Management).

There are few community colleges that have the facilities to offer such a program while industry demand for employees in the field has grown.

Upon hearing the term “meat science,” most people picture the meat counter at their local grocery store, but it is much more than that. Meat science and processing relates to a great deal more than steaks and breakfast sausage. There is an enormous amount of chemistry, biology, anatomy and research that goes into putting a safe, healthy, quality product in the hands of consumers.

While most people have a general idea, few truly understand what it takes to “put meat on the table.”

In addition to the jobs related directly to meat processing, the program will help open the doors for students in multiple branches of agriculture. USDA services, product research and development, quality control programs, and equipment sales and marketing represent just some of the opportunities that are currently under represented and looking for people with basic knowledge of meat science.

A very common thread when speaking with leaders in these industries is we need more people with a background in what our business is actually about.

In addition to providing skills for a career in a background for continuing education, the program will complete an important element in BMCC’S current degree and certification pathway.

“Our livestock production degree and certification programs are great!” says Matt Liscom, Ag Science instructor. “We take students through the entire process: breeding, health care, genetics, nutrition, parturition ... we cover it all. What was missing was a real understanding and proof that the decisions that were made during all those processes resulted in what the students predicted would happen. Did my feed program really work? Was that bull a good choice to improve my carcass yields? What effect did those EPD numbers have on this generation of offspring? They’ll get to see all those things first hand, now. That’s exciting.”

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