Chris Calkins - Innovation, Development and Engagement Award (IDEA)
Chris Calkins, professor of animal science at UNL. Calkins’ research team’s efforts in muscle profiling led to the development of the flat-iron steak, the petite tender, and other beef products that came from parts of the animal previously underutilized and undervalued. Because of this, consumers have more choices at the grocery store and producers and processors in Nebraska and elsewhere have more profits. In fact, the flat-iron steak and other cuts pioneered by Calkins are now favorite choices of restaurant diners. Currently, Calkins is working to commercialize a beef tenderness classification system that can measure the tenderness of beef well before it’s eaten, giving the industry an opportunity to label tender beef as such and charge a premium price for it. With this model, Calkins is positioned to significantly impact Nebraska’s economy – again.
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