At the Meat Lab: When I was an ag reporter

Back in the 1997, during my several months as an reporter for a weekly statewide agriculture newspaper, I wrote a story about a program at the University of Illinois Meat Science Lab called “Beef 2000,” which educated cattle farmers about the slaughtering and grading process. (Story was published on one full page, and here are PDFs of the top and bottom of the page.) I took some pics, which I’ve described to my students and am posting here. Black and white photos were scanned from the original article, but this color photo from the kill floor was not published.

University of Illinois animal science professor Tom Carr explains the calculation of a carcass's yield grade by measuring ribeye area at the twelfth rib cross-section.

University of Illinois animal science professor Tom Carr explains the calculation of a carcass’s yield grade by measuring ribeye area at the twelfth rib cross-section.

Illinois Department of Agriculture meat inspector Jim Reinhart examines the carcass of a freshly killed animal while its still on the processing floor. Beef 2000 participants observed as Reinhart looked for lesions and signs of disease in the animal's glandular system, lungs, liver, and other parts, as well as inspecting the carcass for cleanliness. (Caption as published.)

Illinois Department of Agriculture meat inspector Jim Reinhart examines the carcass of a freshly killed animal while its still on the processing floor. Beef 2000 participants observed as Reinhart looked for lesions and signs of disease in the animal’s glandular system, lungs, liver, and other parts, as well as inspecting the carcass for cleanliness. (Caption as published.)

U of I animal science professor Tom Carr leads farmers as they evaluate before, and later, after, slaughter.

U of I animal science professor Tom Carr leads farmers as they evaluate an animal before, and later, after, slaughter.

University of Illinois researcher Robert Wells demonstrates how ultrasound technology is used to measure both the size of the ribeye and the amount of fat on the animal's back.

University of Illinois researcher Robert Wells demonstrates how ultrasound technology is used to measure both the size of the ribeye and the amount of fat on the animal’s back.

 

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