McNeese State University officially opened the Center for Advancement of Meat Production and Processing Monday. Located in Lacassine, this facility will be a satellite campus under the administration of the Harold and Pearl Dripps Agricultural Sciences Department at McNeese. The center will be used to conduct applied research related to agricultural sciences and to support workforce development by preparing students for a wide variety of jobs in the agricultural and food science industry. On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony were, from left, McNeese President Emeritus Dr. Robert Hebert, Bill Fuller, Kinder cattleman, Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, Dr. George Mead, dean of the college of science, Judy Fuller, vice president/president-elect of the McNeese Foundation, McNeese President Dr. Philip Williams, Janet Woolman, McNeese executive director of research and government relations and director of the Louisiana Environmental Research Center, Dr. Chip LeMieux, McNeese agricultural sciences department head, Dr. Jeanne Daboval, McNeese provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish and Richard H. Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president of the McNeese Foundation.
Located in Lacassine, this 7,350-square-foot facility will be a satellite campus under the administration of the Harold and Pearl Dripps Agricultural Sciences Department at McNeese. The center will be used to conduct applied research related to agricultural sciences and to support workforce development by preparing students for a wide variety of jobs in the agricultural and food science Community outreach will be an important component of the new facility.
The CAMPP facility will also be used to provide workshops and continuing education seminars on food safety, basic meat processing and product preparation targeted to potential employment or job advancement for adults.
High school students, particularly those involved in Future Farmers of America, home economics or family and consumer sciences programs, throughout Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes will benefit from the center. "Each year, our department hosts numerous school clinics, field days and short courses and we can use the facilities at the center to introduce these students to the meat processing segment of the agriculture industry," LeMieux said.
The McNeese agricultural sciences program prepares students for careers in many facets of the agricultural industry including agribusiness, animal science, food science and nutrition, dietetics, natural resource conservation management, plant and soil science, pre-veterinary medicine and equine science.
The McNeese Foundation assisted with acquiring the closed meat processing plant and surrounding property. Funds to purchase the property came from a $775,000 Louisiana Hurricane Recovery/Economic Development Grant and a $110,000 donation from Jeff Davis Bank.
The CAMPP facility is located on a 16-acre tract of land just off I-10 in Jefferson Davis Parish approximately 25 minutes from the McNeese main campus in Lake Charles.
LeMieux will supervise two full-time employees who will have responsibility for research, education and day-to-day operations of the center.