Keith Belk


AMSA has announced that Dr. Keith E. Belk is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Research Award.  The award was established in 1965 to recognize members with outstanding research contributions to the meat industry and is sponsored by ConAgra Brands. Dr. Belk will be honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 70th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in College Station, Texas.

Keith grew up in Larkspur, Colorado where his family raised sheep and cattle; and he showed lambs and steers in 4-H. This early exposure to agriculture sparked his life-time interest in food-animal agriculture. Now, Dr. Belk is Professor and holder of the Ken and Myra Monfort Chair in Meat Science, Center for Meat Safety & Quality in the Department of Animal sciences at Colorado State University.

Dr. Belk has a notable research record that includes grants and extramural funding of more than $19 million. He has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on 529 separate grants and has authored 206 peer-reviewed journal publications, 7 book chapters, 1 book review and 3 patents. His research and expertise is in meat safety and quality, metagenomics/microbiome assessment, whole genome sequencing, international marketing and quality/safety management. Because of this, he is frequently an invited speaker, having given 485 presentation around the world. Dr. Belk also teaches Global Food Safety Initiative programs, HACCP and FDA Preventative Controls for Human Foods to industry groups.

Throughout his career, Dr. Belk has contributed to a variety of organizations including the AMSA Board of Directors and AMSA President, and serving on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Animal Science. He has also been recognized with numerous awards throughout his career, including the North American Meat Institute Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education Scientific Achievement Award (2017), AMSA Signal Service Award (2013), North American Meat Association Harry L. Rudnick Educator’s Award (2013), and being honored as one of Meat Processing magazine’s “Rising Stars” in 2001.

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