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A cut above

ISU students
Animal science students at Iowa State University (ISU) learn to break up pork during a meat butchering and processing course in the ISU Meats Laboratory. Last year, the lab became a center of efforts to process animals for Iowa food banks after COVID-19 meat processing plant closures caused severe livestock back-ups on Iowa farms.
Iowa State University's Meats Lab partnered with the state's livestock farmers to provide ground beef and pork to food-insecure Iowa families.
The Meats Laboratory at Iowa State University (ISU) has always been a place where helping to feed the world through animal protein has been front and center. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country, the ISU Meats Lab also played a vital role in keeping food on the tables of the most vulnerable Iowans.

Partnering with the Iowa Depart­ment of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), livestock farmers and food banks across Iowa, the Meats Laboratory became a conduit between farmers who couldn’t get their livestock processed due to packing plant shutdowns and those most...



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