Auburn Speaks
Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Profile: Beef Unit Research

Written by Karen Hunley

Beef Unit Research Focuses on Quality, Safety, and Maximizing Resources

You may enjoy a hamburger fresh off the grill or a juicy steak without wondering why the burger tastes good or why the meat is safe to eat.

But beef producers pay a great deal of attention to those questions, and there are few places as well-situated as Auburn University to study cattle with the goal of continuously improving quality, says Robert Britton, director of the university’s Beef Cattle Evaluation Unit. Britton also oversees the Beef Teaching Center, the Swine Research and Education Center, and the Horse Center.

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Profile: Melvin Carter

Written by Karen Hunley

AU Grad Helps Soldiers Eat Better

“Meals Ready to Eat,” or MREs, may at first sound like food that lacks taste and variety for the sake of convenience and a long shelf life–a stigma inherent in the name alone. But Auburn graduate Dr. Melvin Carter and his team at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center are working every day to make sure MREs–which feed our military need during times of high-stress combat–exceed expectations.

Carter leads the Food Engineering Services Team of the Combat Feeding Directorate (CFD) at the center, located in Natick, Massachusetts. The directorate is responsible for engineering support cases, recipe development, sensory analysis, and the preparation and coordination of performancebased contract requirements and procurement documents for all ration platforms that have been recommended, tested, and approved.

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The Old Rotation

Written by Karen Hunley

There’s an old saying that “cotton is king” in the southeastern United States. Cotton was the predominate crop in this area of the country by the late 19th century, when most arable land was being used for crop production. Alabama, Georgia, and Texas were especially rich with cotton. Sustaining this important crop during the harsh winter months became critical to many farmers’ livelihood.

The small amount of fertilizer that was used on cropland was swept away along with topsoil during heavy rainfall in winter. Many Southern farmers struggled with reconstruction and a sharecropping economy dependent on producing cotton on severely degraded farmland.

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