Christy Bratcher served as director of the Food Systems Institute at Auburn University.
Christy Bratcher, a nationally recognized meat science researcher and administrator at Auburn University, has been named the new Associate Dean of Research of the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) at Texas Tech University.
Bratcher had served as director of Auburn's Food Systems Institute and a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. Her office facilitated development of interdisciplinary teams aimed at developing proposals and securing funding for some 80 faculty members associated with the institute. Her personal research interests have included food safety of processed meats, pre- and post-harvest meat animal food safety and consumer acceptance of niche-market meat products.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the team at such a well-respected institution with an elite group of faculty and an outstanding research portfolio, and my family and I are excited to become a part of the Lubbock community," Bratcher said. "Working with faculty in CASNR to create joy in their careers by facilitating efficient and effective research prospects, proposals, grants and reporting will be my core mission with this new role."
Bratcher will begin her new duties in mid-June, filling roles currently held by two senior CASNR administrators. Michael Ballou will serve as interim chairman of the Department of Veterinary Sciences, and David Weindorf has been named a research faculty fellow with the Office of Research & Innovation.
"Christy has the grantsmanship skills, personality and service mentality to help grow CASNR's research portfolio in support of those we serve," said CASNR Dean William Brown. "I want to thank all the members of the search committee working under the leadership of Cindy Akers, CASNR's associate dean for Academic and Student Programs, for their hard work and dedication to the search process."
Bratcher earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Florida and her doctorate from the University of Missouri. She is a member of the American Meat Science Association, American Society of Animal Science and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Her recent research has centered on a five-year, $4.8 million Agriculture & Food Research Initiative project through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed at a systems approach to improving production and distribution of local and regional foods for a more secure food system, and a project that investigates transportation stress of cattle on shedding of pathogens. She has been widely published and referenced in academic journals.
Recent honors for Bratcher include the Gerald & Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at Auburn University (2017); USDA Partnership Award for Innovative Programs and Projects (2016); and Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award for Education from the American Society of Animal Science Southern Region (2015).
With an annual budget of $8.6 million, CASNR's research programs are widely recognized for excellence in the discovery and delivery of knowledge on current and emerging aspects of the food, fiber, fuel, natural resources, environmental sciences, management and planning disciplines. In keeping with research that addresses regional issues with national and global impact, CASNR promotes and supports multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research programs.
"Our programs address real world issues faced by producers, processors and consumers of food, fiber and natural resources," Brown said. "This allows the research to support programs in areas contributing to the local and regional workforce, sustainable economic and social development, and growth."