The Oscar Mayer brand announced last week a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) to focus on animal welfare issues. The program will train the next generation of animal welfare leaders, including farmers, scientists, processors and veterinarians. The goal is to find solutions that are right for the environment and animals and sustainable for our suppliers and their farm families.
"From the beginning, Oscar Mayer has been committed to finding better ways," said Tricia White, Oscar Mayer Vice President of Research, Development & Quality and leader of the Oscar Mayer Animal Welfare Team. "Investing in the future of our industry through this partnership is one way we continue to create food that consumers feel good about."
"We are extremely grateful for the support of Oscar Mayer to enable an increased focus on training the next generation of food animal producers, scientists, processors, veterinarians, and consumers equipped to address and implement animal welfare solutions," said Dale Gallenberg, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UWRF.
The three-year partnership names Kurt Vogel, Ph.D., assistant professor of animal science at UWRF, the Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer faculty scholar.
In addition to establishing the faculty scholar, the partnership will help further develop animal welfare education at UWRF and provide research in the area of food animal welfare. It will also create a public, online resource that addresses relevant animal welfare issues. Led in part by Vogel, an animal welfare expert, the program will give students hands-on experience in assessing animal welfare practices.
"Through this partnership, we are teaching the next generation of animal welfare professionals how to properly treat and evaluate livestock," said Vogel. "The commitment Oscar Mayer is making to our students really shows that they understand the role they can play in improving animal welfare."
Thanks to funding from the Oscar Mayer brand, two new animal welfare courses will be added to the UWRF animal science program that focus on complex animal welfare issues and procedures. Outside the lectures and laboratories, a team of students will be competing in the national Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest for collegiate animal science students on an ongoing basis.
Part of Kraft Foods Group, Inc., the Oscar Mayer brand will also help identify relevant research topics for the students and will provide undergraduate internship opportunities specifically focused on animal welfare. Meanwhile, UWRF will develop an online resource that organizes relevant animal welfare resources and information in a way that's easily accessible by the public.
Source: UW- River Falls