Carve out a career in meat science
August 4, 2019

Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town, Oblong, IL, located in Southern Illinois. My family farm is predominately row crops, but my passion was raising and showing Angus cattle. After high school, I attended Lakeland College for two years before transferring to the University of Illinois.  

Where do you live?
Wooster, OH

Where are you currently employed?
Certified Angus Beef, LLC

What is your current job title?
Meat Scientist

Describe your day to day?
I work with my wife, Diana Clark, who is also an alum from the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences, to educate all sectors of the meat industry, from producer to consumer, about meat science and the beef community.  My day to day schedule varies every day, but most often involves explaining the 10 science-based carcass specifications, for which the brand was founded upon, followed by breaking down one side of a Certified Angus Beef® brand carcass to show partners where different cuts of beef come from and how they could be merchandised in their restaurant, their customer’s restaurant, or their retail store.      

What year did you graduate?
I graduated with my undergrad in 2008, with my master’s in 2010, and with my Ph.D. in 2014, all from the Department of Animal Sciences.

List some or all of the activities you participated in as an undergrad:
I was on the Meat Judging Team and the Meat Animal Evaluation Team. I also worked in Dr. Flaw’s reproductive toxicology lab in the Veterinary Biosciences building and in the Meat Lab as well.  

Anything you might want a current undergrad to know?
Get involved and keep your options open!  As do most, I started my undergraduate career with aspirations to become a veterinarian.  Once I transferred into the University of Illinois Animal Science Program, my eyes were opened up to so many career opportunities and research.  My extracurricular activities and undergraduate research opportunities revealed new fields of study that I did not even know existed. Ultimately, I credit these activities to starting me down my career path.