MANHATTAN, Kan. – Whether it was through his role as coach of the Kansas State University Meat Judging Team, advisor to Block & Bridle or Ag Student Council or one of the many classes he taught as a professor of animal science, a generation of Kansans learned from Michael Dikeman.
For his work as a researcher, teacher and advisor, Dikeman has been named to the Meat Industry Hall of Fame. He will be honored Nov. 3 at a ceremony and dinner in Chicago.
Dikeman, who retired earlier this year after 42 years at K-State, taught 13 different courses to more than 9,000 undergraduate and dozens of graduate students. He won two K-State research scholar awards and nine college, regional and national teaching awards, including a U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges award.
His many awards include the American Society of Animal Science Fellow Award (2013), a lifetime achievement award presented to animal scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the industry.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry at K-State and a master’s degree at Michigan State University. He then returned to K-State to earn a Ph.D. in 1970.
In a statement about the award, the Meat Industry Hall of Fame noted that Dikeman’s research spanned the entire farm-to-fork spectrum in beef production—from genetics to cooking and processing. His work included such projects as the Germ Plasm Evaluation and Utilization research at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and work with breed associations to develop the Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) for beef tenderness, which has had a ground-breaking impact on beef quality and consistency.
Dikeman served as president of the American Meat Science Association, chairman of the AMSA Reciprocal Meat Conference, and president of the Federation of American Societies of Food Animal Sciences. He authored or coauthored hundreds of refereed journal articles, abstracts, and bulletin articles, written a book chapter, and developed videos and contributions to the Meat Science Encyclopedia.
His research encompassed production-management systems, the genetics of beef tenderness, muscle characteristics in Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle, ultrasound and computer-modeled beef cooking and the impact of stress on meat quality.
The Meat Industry Hall of Fame has inducted 60 members since the Inaugural Class of 2009. Nominations come from the meat industry at large and winners are chosen by the Meat Industry Hall of Fame board of directors and previous inductees. More information is available by contacting Meat Industry Hall of Fame president Chuck Jolley, Chuck@MeatIndustryHallofFame.com or (913) 205-3791.