Meat Then and Now

A historical overview of the importance of meat, livestock and railroads in the westward expansion of the United States

by Dell M. Allen


Book Details

The History of Meat and the Expansion of America

As the population of the United States expanded and moved westward, the meat and livestock industry expanded as well. Animals were essential not only for food and other products, but also as a source of power for pulling wagons and farm equipment. The parallel development of railroads was instrumental in the efficient transport for both livestock and meat during America’s rapid growth in the 1800s and early 1900s. An entire industry was developed to raise, market, slaughter, and process meat for the nation’s citizens, and this fascinating book provides extensive histories of early meat companies. Researched with authoritative and meticulous detail by a leading expert in the field of meat and food safety, Meat Then and Now will give you perspective on the industry, rooted in the history of America’s development.


About the Author

Dell M. Allen

Dell M. Allen was raised on a farm in rural southeast Kansas and after graduating from High School, attended Kansas State University where he graduated with a degree in Animal Husbandry in 1961. He then transitioned to the University of Idaho where he received a Masters degree in Animal Science in 1963. He then went to Michigan State University receiving his PhD in 1966. It was while he was at Michigan State that he met and married his wife Joyce in 1965. Following graduation at MSU, he returned to Kansas State as an Assistant Professor in the Animal Science Department. He remained at Kansas State on the faculty until 1988 when he joined Excel Corporation (now called Cargill Meat Solutions). While at KSU he coached the meat judging team from 1967 to 1979 where his teams won multiple contests and consistently place in the top two or three teams. This provided him with the opportunity to visit a wide variety of meat plants and learn the industry, bringing those experiences with him back to the classroom. While at KSU, his research focused primarily on beef composition and beef quality. In 1977, he was contracted by the US General Accounting Office to do a nationwide survey on the accuracy and uniformity of beef grading as applied by USDA meat graders across the US. This resulted in a joint research project between the Departments of Animal Science and Electrical Engineering at KSU developing a prototype beef grading instrument by coupling a digital camera with a computer which ultimately was adopted by both Ag Canada and USDA meat graders. In 1978, he went to Brazil to work on an AID project pertaining to the potential development of a beef grading system for that country. In 1980, he took a one year leave of absence to work for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the Law and Compliance division and worked at developing new feeder cattle and fat cattle contract specifications. In 1988, he joined Excel Corporation rising through the ranks to become Vice President of Technical Services and Food Safety where he was responsible for company wide food safety and quality standards for Excel/Cargills 20 meat plants across the nation and Canada. While at Excel/Cargill, Dr. Allen reached out to consumer advocacy groups conducting tours of Excel plants for several of them and for elected officials and their staff that had been critical of the industry. He has spoken at many major food safety conferences and collaborated in many high profile efforts to work with the Department, the broader industry from farm to fork, and with consumer advocates. He has been recognized with awards by many groups, including the Scientific Achievement Award from the American Meat Institute, the E. Floyd Forbes Award from the National Meat Association, the Howard Baughman Food Safety Award from the FSIS-USDA, the R.C. Pollack Award by the American Meat Science Association, and was named to the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in its initial class of 2009. In February of 2013, Dell was named the 2013 “Stockman of the Year” by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council, at Kansas State University. Since retirement from Cargill, Dell has worked as “Consultant” on the meat packing industry, working with a variety of companies including multiple packing companies, food safety companies and Merck on projects ranging from food safety issues to production problems. He and Joyce have done some traveling and both spending time with their grandchildren.



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