SAN ANGELO, Texas — At Angelo State University, students pursuing a degree in food science and marketing have schedules filled with classes and corresponding labs. However, they also have an opportunity to gain hands on experience by working in the ASU Meat Market, a fully-functional salesroom open to the public and filled with meat raised and processed by students.
The manager of the food safety and product development lab, Robert Cope, said the market began in 2005, with the building of the processing facility. He said students were making products and learning, but the meat would be going to waste otherwise, so the professors decided to sell the products to the community.
All money made from sales goes back into the program and helps pay for purchasing costs. Currently, the meat market is only open on Thursdays because of staffing losses, as students without housing had to return home.
Another change to expect at the market is that all products sold presently are vacuum-sealed and frozen. Cope said the salesroom has cases of smoked sausage, summer sausage, bacon, steaks and ground products - all at prices comparable to those in the community.
Cope said students who work at the meat market have gone on to careers in research and development, food safety and traveling the world as a sales representative for different processing equipment.
He said this pandemic has also taught the students their jobs are important, and they belong to a needed workforce that is in high demand right now.
The ASU meat market is located at 7945 Grape Creek Rd and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays.