Colorado State University’s Fort Collins campus will soon be home to a cattle slaughter and education center paid for by JBS USA, a Greeley-based meat packer.
The building – called the JBS Global Food Innovation Center – will house the university’s meat science program, complete with livestock and poultry processing, a multi-level auditorium and a café. Part of the funding will come from a $ 12.5 million donation from JBS to support its construction and ongoing educational programs.
The center is expected to be built directly south of the existing Animal Science Building, a short walk from the university’s Morgan Library. Part of the facility, where students and faculty will study animal handling techniques, will be designed by renowned CSU animal welfare professor Temple Grandin.
CSU officials are in the process of selecting an architect for the project, and say construction could begin as early as this summer. The US Department of Agriculture inspects all facilities where livestock are slaughtered and processed.
The new center has been on the CSU Department of Agricultural Sciences wishlist for years. Meat science students currently work in a smaller space and no slaughter takes place on campus.
“We currently don’t have space on campus or off campus for students to learn these processes firsthand,” says Kevin Pond, head of CSU’s animal science department. “For educational purposes, the full range of handling and treatment of animals will take place at the facility. “
Similar educational facilities on animal slaughter and handling are common at universities across the country, according to Pond. The universities of Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and California all have educational cattle slaughterhouses.
“This facility is a teaching and demonstration facility, not a production facility,” explains Pond. “As such, processing will take place on a limited scale.”
CSU students already hold semi-regular meat sales, sold under the Ram Country Meats brand.
The new center further strengthens the university’s relationship with the world’s largest meat packing company. JBS and its affiliates have donated millions of dollars in the past – over $ 500,000 for an endowed chair and feedlot worth $ 2.5 million.