ISU Students Send Beef Sticks for Katrina's Victims, Rescue Workers

September 21st, 2005

Two Iowa State University meat science graduate students are using their education and university contacts to feed collegiate victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi.

This week, Sherry Olsen of Story City and Angela Laury of Downer's Grove, Ill. are leading an effort to process and package nearly 3,000 beef sticks to send to students and staff at Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University (MSU). The shipment is expected in the Gulf Coast late next week.

The packages will be sent directly to meat science and food science professors who will then distribute them to students, staff and evacuees, Olsen and Laury said. Iowa State and all members of the American Meat Science Association received an appeal for help from MSU, which at the time was feeding 130 students and evacuees each day.

From left, Betsy Hertz, senior in food science and ag communications, Sherry Olsen and Angela Laury package beef sticks."There are truckloads going down to the entire Gulf Coast. We wanted to get the beef sticks to the people who need it the most, whether that is people who need groceries or emergency personnel," said Olsen.

Beef sticks do not require refrigeration, said Joe Sebranek, who is a university professor in the departments of animal science and food science and human nutrition in the College of Agriculture. "The meat is blended with spices and fermented to provide shelf-stability. That's a plus in this situation," said Sebranek, who is overseeing the project.

The meat for the beef sticks was paid for through the meat science's Processed Meats Program for industry professionals. The finished product has an estimated retail value of more than $2,000.

Laury noted the beef sticks will be processed under U.S. Department of Agriculture meat processing regulations and an inspector will be on hand. All processing and packaging will be done by Iowa State student and faculty volunteers in the ISU Meat Lab.


Sherry Olsen, Animal Science, (515) 294-1548,
Angela Laury, Animal Science, (515) 294-1548,
Joe Sebranek, Animal Science and Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294-1091,
Alicia Clancy, Ag Communication Services, (515) 294-4319,