The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Extension Meat Science Specialist (Assistant / Associate / Full Professor)

Posted on June 11, 2024
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Position Overview

The University of Tennessee, Departments of Animal Science and Food Science invite applications for a full-time, 12- month, tenure-track Meat Science Specialist.  The position will be offered at the rank of Assistant, Associate or Full Professor, dependent on candidate qualifications. The successful candidate will be a key member of the departments’ Extension and teaching programs with a 70% UT Extension appointment in Animal Science and 30% teaching appointment in Food Science within the Herbert College of Agriculture.

About the University, Animal Science Department, AgResearch & Institute of Agriculture The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has an enrollment of more than 31,000 students and is located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Institute of Agriculture houses the Land Grant component of the university and consists of UT AgResearch, Herbert College of Agriculture, UT Extension, and College of Veterinary Medicine. Academic departments include Animal Science;Agricultural & Resource Economics;Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications;Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science;Entomology and Plant Pathology;Food Science;Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries;and Plant Sciences. Translational research addressing problems in production of food, fiber, energy and environmental/agricultural sustainability is prioritized. 

The Department of Animal Science is a diverse blend of applied and basic life sciences, ultimately focused on enhancing the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of the domestic animal industries. The department's activities are accomplished by its 25 faculty members and 13 professionals and support staff on the Knoxville campus and at locations across Tennessee. Approximately 500 undergraduate students are enrolled in the department's Bachelor of Science degree program with academic concentrations in Animal Industries, BioSciences, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, and combined BS-MS (4+1). Encouraging undergraduate participation in research, creative achievement, and real-world experience is a departmental goal. There are approximately 40 graduate students enrolled in the department's M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
Research, Teaching, and Extension programs in the department serve the areas of animal health and well-being, nutritional physiology, genomics, reproductive physiology, and precision livestock farming technology. Extensive field and animal resources are available through UT AgResearch and Education Centers throughout Tennessee. These resources include over 1,000 head of beef cattle and multiple forms of precision livestock farming technologies. UT Extension also leads adult and 4-H youth programs in beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, horses, poultry, sheep, swine, and environmental management. Departmental programs encompass the full range of the land grant university mission (teaching, research, and service) and are administered by the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension. Opportunities abound to form collaborative and interdisciplinary activities with the College of Veterinary Medicine, Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture to facilitate international partnerships or collaborations, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, commodity and industrial partners, other university units, and regional industries. Additional information about the Department can be found at Faculty are also active in four recently developed centers/initiatives including the UTIA Genomics Center for the Advancement of Agriculture (, Precision Livestock Farming Initiative (, the University of Tennessee One Health Initiative (, and UT Beef and Forage Center (
The Food Science Department includes a diverse group of faculty with expertise in the areas of food chemistry, microbiology/safety, and engineering/processing.  The department has 14 faculty members and 21 technical and administrative staff located on the Knoxville campus.  The overall mission is to improve food safety and quality through fundamental and applied research;prepare graduates for the global food industry or health professional programs;and deliver effective outreach education to the citizens of Tennessee and beyond.  The food and agriculture industries in Tennessee contribute $52 billion in economic output (9% of state economy). Since 2016, there have been 50 major food industry projects in the state that have generated greater than 7,400 new jobs and $3.1+ billion in capital investment. Tennessee is one of the top beef-producing states in the nation and beef cattle are produced in every county in Tennessee.  There are more than 1,600 registered food manufacturing facilities in the state. Several major food manufacturers have headquarters or large processing operations in Tennessee. There are also many small direct market or limited market food companies that contribute to local, national, and international communities. The Department of Food Science is a critical component for the continued growth and resiliency of the Tennessee food industry. The department supports the industry by preparing well-trained food scientists, solving problems through research, and providing education to the industry through Extension.


Extension: Plan, develop, implement, and evaluate practical, science-based educational programs for producers, processors, and consumers that will benefit the Tennessee meat industry;Independently and collaboratively work with other faculty, UT Extension agents, key partners, and stakeholders;Be an active leader/team member (as appropriate) in Animal Science, Food Science, and Center for Profitable Agriculture Extension educational program delivery;Contribute to youth meat science educational programs and provide training to county Extension agents, and volunteers;Serve as a resource for UT Extension agents and TN agricultural agencies;Cultivate a working relationship with meat, food, and animal industry organizations;Secure extramural funds through grants, fee-based programs, and gifts;Develop and disseminate information via articles, radio, television, internet, and other media platforms;Assist in the design of the new Center for Protein Innovation laboratory and classroom. 

Teaching: Develop, or contribute to, a comprehensive meat science curriculum to include topics in meat evaluation, fresh meats, and manufactured meats;advise undergraduate and graduate students;mentor students interested in industry work experiences/internships;lead students in extracurricular learning experiences;coach the meat judging team, and provide guest lectures to support existing courses.


Minimum Qualifications: (1) PhD in Animal Science or Food Science or a related field with a focus on meat science;(2) understanding of US meat industry and regulatory environment;(3) demonstrated skills in written and oral communication, program management, and technical writing;(4) the ability to work well with others in a collegial, team atmosphere;(5) ability and willingness to meet travel requirements. All applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. on a long-term basis.

Ideal candidates should demonstrate: Experience in serving diverse audiences;Ability to develop and deliver effective educational programming for county Extension agents, livestock producers, meat processors, undergraduate and graduate students, and consumers;Experience in Extension programs for commercial meat producers and processors;Self-motivation with the ability to achieve measurable results;Positive interpersonal skills with the capability and willingness to work independently as well as part of a team.

Preferred Level of Education



Salary: Commensurate with education, experience, and qualifications.

How to Apply

Apply via Interfolio