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COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Zerle Carpenter, Texas A&M University professor emeritus of animal science and director emeritus of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, was recently inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.
Carpenter was among six inductees selected from more than 75 nominations encompassing all areas of red meat and poultry production, processing, marketing and academia, according to officials.
Formed in 2008, the Meat Industry Hall of Fame is a repository of meat, poultry and livestock history and a celebration of the industry leaders whose business excellence, scientific prowess and community service have enhanced the legacy of America’s leading food industry sector. To date, there have been 72 distinguished industry leaders inducted representing animal agriculture, meat and poultry processing, supplier companies, academia, and retail and foodservice operators, according to officials.
Carpenter’s induction marks the fourth faculty member from the Texas A&M department of animal science to join the group. Dr. H. Russell Cross and Dr. Gary Smith were inducted in 2009 and Dr. Jeff Savell in 2010.
The selection committee cited Carpenter “for his leadership in helping conduct the foundational research that led to the establishment of the USDA’s official grades of beef, pork and lamb. The value of U.S. livestock produced in the United States is based on this research and established U.S. meat products as the world standard.”
Carpenter’s career with the Texas A&M University System spans 35 years as a respected professor in the department of animal science and leader in animal science, meat science and Extension administration. Carpenter began his career at Texas A&M as an assistant professor of meat science in 1962 and rose to the rank of full professor of animal science in 1971. He served as department head for animal science beginning in 1978, and director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, now Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, beginning in 1982. In 1988, he was named associate vice chancellor for agriculture for the Texas A&M University System. Carpenter retired in 1997.
In 1985, Carpenter gained national attention when he launched issue-based Extension programming in Texas. This approach sought greater involvement by community members in planning and developing local Extension education programs. This approach became a model for other Extension programs across the state and at the national level.
Carpenter has won numerous awards for his outstanding leadership and his contributions in research, teaching and Extension. The department of animal science established an award in his honor in 1998 for his contributions to the university and the meat industry. The Zerle L. Carpenter Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Meat Science is presented annually to a graduate student in the department’s meat science section whose outstanding leadership skills have contributed significantly to the section’s teaching, research and Extension activities.