Iowa State University's Terry Houser named Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension

March 1st, 2021

AMES, Iowa – Terry Houser, associate professor and extension meat specialist at Iowa State University, has been named the Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension.

Houser was presented with the chair at a February 25 medallion ceremony hosted by Daniel J. Robison, holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Dr. Terry Houser brings an impressive portfolio of research and service to his role as Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension. He is a valued and trusted resource for the meat industry and consumers, which proved especially true this past year as he provided science-based information during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robison. “We are grateful to Smithfield for their investment in Iowa State University and the vital work of our world-class meats laboratory.”

Houser has served as associate professor at Iowa State since 2019 and also serves as professor in charge of the Iowa State University Meat Laboratory. Previously, he served on the faculty at Kansas State University and had oversight of Kansas State’s meat laboratory. He was also a faculty member at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Houser received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his master’s degree and doctorate in meat science from Iowa State University.

"We are extremely grateful to Smithfield for their long history of significant investment in our program," Houser said. "I am humbled to receive this great honor, and with it, the opportunity to build Meat Science Extension programming focused on addressing industry challenges."

The chair was previously held by Professor Emeritus of Animal Science Joe Cordray, who served more than 50 years in the meat science industry. For the last 25 years, he was an extension meat specialist and professor of animal science. Cordray was also recognized at the medallion ceremony for his service to the meat industry and the exceptional employee training programs he provided to Smithfield Foods during his tenure as the Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension.

“At Smithfield, we’re passionate about education and committed to supporting the communities we call home,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods. “We congratulate Dr. Houser on being named the Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension. The graduates of this program are well-prepared to lead our industry, innovating for the future in ways we can’t yet imagine to help feed our growing planet. We’re incredibly proud to champion this important work at Iowa State University.”

The Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension was established in 2013 through a generous $1 million commitment from Smithfield to sustain and enhance the meat science program, including industry-focused extension and research in Iowa State’s department of animal science.

21Smithfield made their gift commitment through the Iowa State University Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization committed to securing and managing gifts that benefit Iowa State University. The Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, with a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion, will help support Iowa State in becoming the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.


Melea Reicks Licht, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-8892,
Elaine Watkins-Miller, Iowa State University Foundation, 515-294-1005,