SDSU meat science graduate student awarded the Certified Angus Beef 2015 Graduate Colvin Scholarship

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Certified Angus Beef recently recognized South Dakota State University Meat Science Ph.D Student, Megan Webb with the 2015 Graduate Colvin Scholarship for her research work in enhancing meat production and quality.

“Megan is a prime example of the caliber of students pursuing degrees within the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences here at SDSU. We are very proud of her and excited for her future,” said Barry Dunn, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences, SDSU Extension Director.

Growing up on her family’s vertically integrated livestock operation, Webb gained hands-on experience in every aspect of the cattle industry. From cow/calf and feedlot production to processing and marketing Angus cattle through the family’s meat locker and restaurant; it was on Flying W Farms in Burlington, W.Va., that this fourth-generation cattlewoman developed a passion for the beef industry. “I want the research that I do to assist cattle producers and beef processors provide a quality product at a marketable price,” Webb said.

Webb received her undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M; and a master’s in Meat Science at Colorado State University. Today, she is working toward a Ph.D in Meat Science at SDSU.

Webb chose SDSU’s Meat Science program for its collaborative opportunities.

“Although SDSU is a small school, the Animal Science Department works closely on research to provide critique and necessary skills to accomplish desired objectives. The ability to work as a team with professors in meat science, nutrition, and genetics provides me with a unique opportunity to learn” Webb said. “In the end, when I enter industry, these experiences will make me more marketable.”

As a Graduate Research Assistant, Webb has been a teaching assistant for an undergraduate Meat Science class and is currently assisting colleagues in two research projects. One project focuses on the impacts of timing effects on calf growth promotant implants on animal and carcass performance. The other looks at the effects of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on animal performance and carcass quality.

“Megan is a self-motivated individual who is selflessly dedicated to helping better the beef industry,” said Webb’s advisor, Amanda Blair. Blair is an Associate Professor in Animal Science and the SDSU Extension Meat Specialist.

Webb said she was honored to receive the $6,000 Graduate Colvin Scholarship and will use the money to help cover tuition and living expenses. “My family raises Black Angus beef, so I have been connected to the breed and its association for as long as I can remember,” Webb said.

Each year Certified Angus Beef awards $26,000 to six students for their community and beef industry leadership and achievements. Webb is the only SDSU student to receive this scholarship in 2015.

“As the population of the world continues to grow; so does demand for food. Scholarships like this encourage the young people, like Megan Webb, who will meet the future challenges of feeding a growing world,” said Joe Cassady, Dept. Head of Animal Science at SDSU.