Jeffrey W. Savell ’75, Ph.D., a University Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor and the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M, has been named the 2022 American Meat Science Association R.C. Pollock Award honoree.

a balding man in a suit and tie with his arms folded, Dr. Jeffrey Savell
Jeffrey Savell, Ph.D., has been named the 2022 American Meat Science Association R.C. Pollock Award honoree. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)

Savell, recently named vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences for Texas A&M AgriLife, has committed his career to the meat industry. He will be honored during the 75th American Meat Science Association Reciprocal Meat Conference awards presentation on June 14 in Des Moines, Iowa. The event is co-hosted by Iowa State University, Kemin Food Technologies, the National Pork Board and Hormel Foods Corporation.

The R.C. Pollock Award is presented in honor of the first general manager of the National Livestock and Meat Board. Pollock, a leader dedicated to the advancement of meat science, was the moving force in establishing the Reciprocal Meat Conference. 

The award honors a dedicated association member whose work through teaching, extension, research or service represents an extraordinary and lasting contribution to the meat industry. The Robert Bray, Vern Cahill and R.C. Pollock AMSA Development Council Mentorships sponsor this award.

“To be recognized as the R.C. Pollock Award Winner is the culmination of a career spent doing what I love — working with students, helping people in the industry and being in a community of like-minded people in the American Meat Science Association,” Savell said.

A lifetime dedicated to the meat industry

A past president of the American Meat Science Association, Savell is a member of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame — a testament to his reputation as an innovative leader in meat science.

His career began judging meats in FFA at Ferris High School. Savell earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M. As an undergraduate, he was a member of the 1974 meat judging team. He served as an assistant coach in 1976 and head coach in 1977 during his time in graduate school. And from 1980 to 1993, he served as the Texas A&M meat judging team faculty coordinator.

“Dr. Savell is regarded as one of the giants of the meat science profession,” said Russell Cross, Ph.D., meat science professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M. “Equally important is his concern for the students he teaches, and the impact he has on them academically and beyond is immeasurable.”

Savell teaches the introductory course in meat science as well as a freshmen class on Texas barbecue. He also leads a graduate course in carcass composition and quality, and team-teaches a graduate and undergraduate course in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point.

Additionally, he is engaged in teaching professionals and adults through the Barbecue Summer Camps and Camp Brisket programs through the Department of Animal Science and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Those programs are designed to educate participants about meat as well as let them learn from and teach each other.

During his career, he has been involved in acquiring over $14 million in research funding. This funding has resulted in the training of 97 master’s students, 38 doctorate students, and the publication of over 300 research articles in prestigious refereed journals.

Savell was previously honored by the North American Meat Processors Association with the Harry L. Rudnick Educator’s Award, and has received the American Meat Science Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He received the Cintron University Professorship in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence award for his outstanding work with undergraduate students and the regional national teaching award for food and agriculture science from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The original story appeared on the website of the American Meat Science Association.

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