Meat Science History

Andrew Boss Lab of Meat ScienceThe University of Minnesota was established in Minneapolis in 1851. In 1882, the 155-acre J.W. Bass Farm in St. Anthony Park was purchased to serve as the new site for the School of Agriculture and Experiment Station. This site was known as University Farm and is the present day St. Paul Campus. The School of Agriculture was opened at University Farm in 1888.

In 1902, Andrew Boss, because of his successes as a Professor in the Division of Animal Husbandry, was appointed Acting Head of the Animal Husbandry Division. Boss felt that the quality, supply, and variety of meat for the farming community would raise the standard of living. In 1894, he had offered the first course in dressing and curing meats in an agricultural school in the U.S. or Canada. This course was received so well that in 1901 a new meat laboratory was built, making the University of Minnesota the first university in the United States to have a meat laboratory. By 1905, there were four meats courses.

The current meat science laboratory was named the Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science in 1977. Geographically located between the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, the Meat Laboratory is a modern meat processing facility capable of processing both red meat and poultry species. In addition to the extension, research, and teaching capacities that the laboratory serves, fresh and processed meat products are also made available for purchase by the university community and interested parties, and some products may be featured in other university dining venues and events.