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Art Maurer, UW-Madison Poultry Scientist, Dead At 55

Maurer was born April 16, 1942, in Winfield, Pa., and grew up on a poultry farm in Pennsylvania. After earning a Ph.D. in food science from Cornell University, he joined the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison”s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in 1970 as an assistant professor. He was assistant dean for International Agricultural Programs in CALS at the time of his death, and held joint appointments as professor of animal sciences and food science.

“Prof. Maurer was a tremendous contributor to all aspects of our College efforts,” said Neal Jorgensen, CALS dean. “He was a superb teacher who genuinely cared about his students. His research efforts were innovative, addressed significant problems, and were highly valued by farmers and the meat processing industry. He was a diligent, hard-working member of our university community and will be greatly missed.”

At CALS, Maurer taught Poultry Science 508 (Poultry Products Technology), the Poultry Science 521 seminar, and the Agricultural and Life Sciences Orientation course for CALS freshmen. He also lectured in other food science and meat and animal science courses at UW-Madison and UW-Stout, and made major contributions in the development and administration of the 13-state Midwest Undergraduate Poultry Science Center of Excellence. He advised hundreds of undergraduate students, and received the CALS Outstanding Advisor Award in 1991. He also advised 10 M.S. and 10 Ph.D. students.

Maurer”s research interests focused on poultry products technology, including processing, preservation, quality, marketing, and product development. His lab developed a popular turkey bacon and a variety of other processed poultry products, and developed a brand of low-cholesterol eggs that is now marketed internationally. Maurer was involved in the development of liquid smoke for meat processing, and other research including prevention of red color in ready to serve turkey rolls, reducing cholesterol levels in eggs, reducing salt levels in processed meats, and use of dietary vitamin E to increase shelf life of processed poultry products.

Maurer had 60 manuscripts published in scientific journals, and wrote several book chapters and numerous articles for trade magazines.

Maurer was a member of the Poultry Science Association, the World”s Poultry Science Association, the Institute of Food Technologists (serving on the public information committee and the executive committee of the muscle foods division), the Wisconsin Section IFT (serving as secretary/treasurer), the International Association of Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians, the Wisconsin Assoc. Milk and Food Sanitarians (serving as meat & poultry committee chair), Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners (serving on the board of directors and as ag committee chair), Volunteers in Technical Assistance, and the North Central Technical Research Committee.

He also served as secretary, treasurer and president of Gamma Sigma Delta and president of Delta Theta Sigma Alumni Corp. He served on many UW-Madison, CALS and departmental committees.

Maurer was very involved in increasing the opportunities for CALS students to gain international experiences. He succeeded in expanding the number of educational opportunities for CALS students in foreign universities and in identifying businesses with international clientele who would employ UW students as interns. This has been particularly crucial for the College, given the expanding number of students enrolled in its international major options. At the time of his death, Maurer was advising 70 undergraduate students in the College”s international program.

Maurer”s interest in international agriculture dated to his college years. At the University of the Philippines, he did doctoral research on the dehydration of poultry meat, and taught food dehydration and freezing classes in the Agricultural Chemistry department.

He returned to the University of the Philippines on sabbatical to conduct research on the shelf-life of reduced-salt poultry frankfurters, teach a special course on poultry products technology, and visit laboratories and food-science programs in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Maurer served as poultry consultant for the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, and wrote a book, “How to Raise Chickens in Eastern Nicaragua,” in Miskito, Spanish and English. He also taught a poultry processing course to technicians and industry professionals in Argentina.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Arthur J. Maurer Funds at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ in Madison, Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas at UW-Stevens Point, or the University of Wisconsin Foundation in Madison.Maurer is survived by his wife, Ellen, of Verona; a daughter, Minda, of La Crosse, Wis.; a son, Brant, of Chicago; and his mother, Blanche Maurer, and sisters Dorothy Beaver, Anna Tilberg, and Minda Wert, all of Pennsylvania.