The Mobile Meat Science Lab is part of the Meat Processing Progam in consortia with Central Wyoming College (CWC), Eastern Wyoming College, and Northern Wyoming Community College District. Grant funding from Governor Mark Gordon’s Wyoming Works Initiative was awarded to CWC in December 2019 to help build this program that includes: this mobile lab, an agriculture faculty position, and meat sciences lab equipment in the Rocky Mountain Complex (RMC) for Ag and Equine Sciences.
“The Mobile Meat Science Lab has gotten a lot of attention across the state due to its innovation and uniqueness,” shared CWC Dean of Arts & Sciences Mark Nordeen. “In our state’s current meat supply situation, according to the Wy Dept of Ag, Consumer Health Division, virtually all of the meat processing plants across the state are booked well into the fall. Clearly there is a need and an interest to find solutions. Wyoming’s First Lady has shown interest in the lab for some projects that she is working on since local meat processing across the state seems to be unavailable.”
Yesterday, June 24th, the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Barbara Rasco, and her husband Glen, visited CWC in Riverton to tour the new Mobile Meat Science Lab and meet those involved with its creation including: Dean Nordeen, CWC Instructor of Ag Scott Priebe, Director of the CWC Foundation Beth Monteiro, and Riverton Local Food Hub Director Jack Schmidt.
This mobile slaughter unit is to enhance student learning in their respective courses through direct, hands-on experience with the goal of providing students the ability to go into the workforce, build their own business in the industry or continue into higher education. It is equipped for all domestic livestock harvesting including poultry. There are only sixteen mobile units like this in the U.S. and this is the only one in Wyoming, Schmidt shared.
“The lab demonstrates the concept of a local rancher being able to process and sell their own beef to the public,” Nordeen shared. “This supports the local foods movement in Wyoming. Economically, local meat processing allows the beef producer to have higher profits on their beef and better support their local community economically.”
The visit from Dean Rasco yesterday is another step toward building stronger connections with the academic programs in the UW College of Ag, Nordeen explained. “We’re working on those details so our Ag students can seamlessly transfer to UW to complete their Bachelor’s Degree. We call these programs 2+2, i.e., 2 years with us for the Associate’s Degree and 2 years at UW for the Bachelor’s degree.”
The steps to get the mobile lab USDA certified began today, Schmidt shared. You can learn more about the Meat Processing Program by clicking here. Also, you can hear from First Lady Jennie Gordon and her food initiatives by clicking here. Finally, if you are interested in learning about local food movements you can find more information by clicking here.