Texas Tech University

Animal & Food Science Scholar Earns American Meat Science Association Teaching Award

Norman Martin

July 29, 2021

Dale Woerner

Dale Woerner is the Cargill Endowed Professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

A nationally recognized professor with the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at Texas Tech University has received the American Meat Science Association's (AMSA) 2021 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Cargill Endowed Professor Dale Woerner will receive the honor on Aug. 17 during the 74th AMSA Reciprocal Meat Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Sponsored by Hawkins Inc., the award was established to recognize excellence in teaching undergraduate and graduate meat science courses and the positive impact such teaching can have on students' lives.

Dale Woerner
Dale Woerner

“Teaching is my passion, and I do research to enhance my ability to teach,” Woerner said. “Every time I get in front of a group to teach, it is my goal to make a difference in their understanding, to engage them, to inform them of something new and to have them leave with a new desire to do something better. I love students, and nothing makes me happier than to see them succeed.”

Woerner, a meat science researcher who earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Tech, joined the department in 2018 after serving nine years as a professor of meat science in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, where he earned his doctorate in 2009. 

Woerner's research and teaching focus is on meat quality, processing, food preparation and cooking, flavor and nutritional value as well as red meat composition, yield and international marketing, innovative carcass cutting strategies, meat shelf life and livestock quality management systems. In 2018, Woerner earned the Texas Tech Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR).

He is a widely published researcher and collaborator who has been a presenter or invited speaker on numerous subjects. He also has been a part of research projects that have generated more than $11 million in external funding, including more than $8.8 million as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator.

“I can tell you Dale is a great teacher,” added Jerrad Legako, a professor with the Department of Animal & Food Sciences and the winner of Texas Tech's 2021 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award. “He has an innate ability to engage with students. His teaching often inspires undergraduates to extend their academic careers and pursue graduate degrees in meat science.”

Legako noted that Woerner's courses are among the most popular courses taught in the department, and his students routinely find a passion for meat science.

“His teaching approach is centered around active and engaged experiential learning, in which he is continuously bridging the gap between the technical and applied aspects of meat science,” Legako said.