Meat store supports meat science education

Pure Nebraska
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2023 at 5:53 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Loeffel Meat Shoppe inside UNL’s Animal Science building gives consumers another local outlet to buy quality meat products.

We caught up with Gary Sullivan, who is an associate professor of animal science to talk about the store and the Loeffel Meat Laboratory. “The meat science program started at UNL in 1919,” Sullivan said. “Professor Loeffel, who the lab is named after, was our first meat scientist. We have a more than 100-year history of meat science programming here at the university. Our goal is to serve the needs of the state from a land-grant university tradition, where we do teaching and training of students, we do education and outreach, and we do research to advance our understanding of meat science, quality and safety.”

“We are a USDA inspected meat facility, so we are able to sell the products we produce here,” Sullivan said. “The products we run through here are things that help support the land-grant mission. We have some full-time staff and faculty that work with the meat laboratory, but we also have a lot of students that use the meat laboratory for training. We hire several undergraduate students each year, and they learn the process. We also have classes where students come in and get hands-on experience on what it’s like to run a meat operation.” The Loeffel Meat Shoppe is the retail front for the meat science program. It helps earn back some of the costs that come with running the program. “With everything from the labor side to the supply side, it takes a lot to run a meat laboratory,” Sullivan said. “This retail arm helps us regain some of the costs, and it also helps students who want to be a part of it.”

The store is located on the southwest corner of the Animal Science Complex on UNL’s East Campus. “Here at the Loeffel Meat Shoppe, we are open on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and we are open to the public,” Sullivan said. “We sell a variety of products. A lot of the fresh meat products we sell frozen, and we have beef, pork, lamb and goat. We also have processed meat products that are manufactured that help with student training as well. We have some Jalapeno Popper Brats that we’ve actually won awards with. We earned the honor of “best brat” two times at our national animal science meetings. We also have smoked sausages, bacon, ham, snack sticks, and we produce products the Dairy Store uses for its meat and cheese boxes.”

If you’d like to know more about the Loeffel Meat Shoppe, be sure to stop by the store on Fridays, or give the store a call at (402) 472-2308.