The Oscar Mayer brand today announced a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) to focus on animal welfare issues. The program will train the next generation of animal welfare leaders, including farmers, scientists, processors and veterinarians. The goal is to find solutions that are right for the environment and animals and sustainable for our suppliers and their farm families.
“From the beginning, Oscar Mayer has been committed to finding better ways,” said Tricia White, Oscar Mayer Vice President of Research, Development & Quality and leader of the Oscar Mayer Animal Welfare Team. “Investing in the future of our industry through this partnership is one way we continue to create food that consumers feel good about.”
“We are extremely grateful for the support of Oscar Mayer to enable an increased focus on training the next generation of food animal producers, scientists, processors, veterinarians, and consumers equipped to address and implement animal welfare solutions,” said Dale Gallenberg, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UWRF.
The three-year partnership names Kurt Vogel, Ph.D., assistant professor of animal science at UWRF, the Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer faculty scholar.
In addition to establishing the faculty scholar, the partnership will help further develop animal welfare education at UWRF and provide research in the area of food animal welfare. It will also create a public, online resource that addresses relevant animal welfare issues. Led in part by Vogel, an animal welfare expert, the program will give students hands-on experience in assessing animal welfare practices.
“Through this partnership, we are teaching the next generation of animal welfare professionals how to properly treat and evaluate livestock,” said Vogel. “The commitment Oscar Mayer is making to our students really shows that they understand the role they can play in improving animal welfare.”
Thanks to funding from the Oscar Mayer brand, two new animal welfare courses will be added to the UWRF animal science program that focus on complex animal welfare issues and procedures. Outside the lectures and laboratories, a team of students will be competing in the national Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest for collegiate animal science students on an ongoing basis.
Part of Kraft Foods Group, Inc., the Oscar Mayer brand will also help identify relevant research topics for the students and will provide undergraduate internship opportunities specifically focused on animal welfare. Meanwhile, UWRF will develop an online resource that organizes relevant animal welfare resources and information in a way that’s easily accessible by the public.
About Kraft Foods Group Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
(NASDAQ: KRFT) is one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion. The company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Velveeta, Planters, Philadelphia, Maxwell House, Lunchables, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid and Jell-O. Kraft’s 22,500 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices.
About the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (www.uwrf.edu/cafes) enrolls 1,300 undergraduate students across 12 different majors. Two laboratory farms, a greenhouse complex, food processing plants, specialized laboratory facilities, intercollegiate competitive teams, and a very successful industry internship program, contribute to the College’s active learning environment which emphasizes hands-on experiences in real world settings. UW-River Falls is located on 226 acres 30 miles from downtown St. Paul, Minn., and is a leader in exemplary teaching, undergraduate research and sustainability efforts.
Photo: (From left to right) Tim Knight, associate principal scientist from Oscar Mayer; Andy Hanacek, editor-in-chief of The National Provisioner; Brooke Bartz, UWRF graduate student and Oscar Mayer animal-welfare intern; and Kurt Vogel, assistant professor of livestock welfare and behavior at UWRF, discuss research underway as part of the UWRF/Oscar Mayer partnership.