Animal Welfare Researcher Joins Meat Institute Advisory Council

Friday, May 26, 2023

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Dr. Candace Croney

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) has announced the launch of its new Protein PACT Academic Advisory Council, which includes a Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty member. Dr. Candace Croney, professor of animal behavior and well-being and director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, is one of the seven members of the council, which is comprised of renowned researchers from top universities across the U.S. With expertise ranging from environmental sustainability to human nutrition and development, the council will advise on research priorities and the latest evidence related to meat production and consumption. News of the council was shared by NAMI in a press release issued Monday, May 22.

Dr. Candace Croney holds a joint appointment at Purdue in the colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, and also serves as associate vice provost for diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Dr. Croney’s research spans the fields of animal behavior, welfare science, and ethics, with a focus on understanding the complex interplay among science, ethics, and culture in addressing animal welfare challenges. As director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, she leads efforts to address contentious social issues in animal welfare, inform policy development, and explore the broad effects of the human-animal bond, including our obligations to animals, and their evolving roles in society.

The remaining six advisory council members include:

  • Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida, whose research focuses on sustainably increasing animal-source food production and consumption, particularly with a focus on the role of animal-source foods in childhood development.
  • Dr. Keith Belk, Colorado State University, who is an expert in red meat quality and safety, animal care, and international standards and trade.
  • Dr. Mindy Brashears, Texas Tech University, who specializes in food microbiology and food safety.
  • Dr. Craig Gundersen, Baylor University, whose research focuses on identifying the causes and consequences of food insecurity and evaluating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
  • Dr. Alexa Lamm, University of Georgia, whose research focuses on identifying the most effective ways to communicate about agricultural and environmental science with stakeholders and the public.
  • Dr. Jason Rowntree, Michigan State University, who specializes in measuring and managing ecological impacts of livestock grazing systems.

In the press release about the formation of the Advisory Council, NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts thanked the council members for volunteering their time and expertise. “The Meat Institute and our Protein PACT partners are making tangible progress toward ambitious goals for the health of animals, people, communities, and the planet,” Potts said. “The Protein PACT Academic Advisory Council will play a critical role in ensuring that our efforts are informed by the latest evidence, as well as helping us to identify and fill research gaps.”

The North American Meat Institute is the United States’ oldest and largest trade association representing packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal, turkey, and processed meat products. NAMI members include more than 350 meat packing and processing companies, the majority of which have fewer than 100 employees, and account for more than 95 percent of the United States’ output of meat and 70 percent of turkey production.

The Protein PACT unites partners across animal protein in the first-ever joint effort to accelerate the entire animal protein sector’s progress toward global sustainable development goals for healthy people, healthy animals, healthy communities, and a healthy environment. Protein PACT partners are establishing transparent baselines and benchmarks for their efforts, setting ambitious targets for continuous improvement, collecting data to verify and transparently report on progress, and launching comprehensive communications about animal protein’s unique place in sustainable, healthy diets. To learn more, visit .

Writer(s): Allison Gardner |

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