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Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame honorees to be inducted on Oct. 13

Two individuals with outstanding lifetime contributions to the Wisconsin meat industry are set to be inducted into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame during a recognition ceremony on Oct. 13. The inductees are Ron Russell, a dedicated UW–Madison meat science instructor, and Christopher Salm, an entrepreneur who helped found numerous businesses.

Ron Russell grew up on a small cattle farm in Sturgeon, Missouri. Raised by two teachers, he developed an appreciation and passion for teaching at an early age. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri, Russell accepted a lecturer position working in what was then known as the Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory in the UW–Madison Department of Animal Sciences. He recently retired as a senior lecturer after 36 years of teaching and outreach service to the university. He had a tremendous impact on hundreds of students, teaching courses such as Animal Growth, Composition and Evaluation; Introduction to Meat Science and Technology; and Meat-Animal Evaluation, Products and Marketing. He was able to utilize his relationships with livestock producers and meat processors to enhance his teaching efforts by providing hands-on experiences for students. He coached the university’s collegiate meat animal evaluation teams, coordinated the annual national collegiate meat animal evaluation contest, served as a county and state fair carcass judge, and supported a variety of other animal agriculture events and activities in Wisconsin. Russell has been a passionate and highly visible ambassador for the UW meat program around the state, and he also represented UW–Madison internationally with teaching and consulting assignments in Costa Rica, Russia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Christopher Salm grew up on his family’s dairy farm on the Fox River in West De Pere, Wisconsin. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the UW–Madison in meat and animal science and completed his master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Purdue University in muscle biology and bioengineering. His industry experience includes years at Oscar Mayer, Johnsonville Sausage and ConAgra (Armour-Swift-Eckrich) with roles as principal scientist, plant manager, product developer, technical trouble shooter, brand manager and lastly, as vice president of research and development. Salm stepped away in 2003 to found Salm Partners with three of his brothers. Salm Partners pioneered a novel co-extrusion technology and a cook-in-package process that yields preferred products that have exceptional shelf-life, free of microbiological contamination. The company has expanded multiple times and currently produces over 15% of all the pre-cooked sausage sold in the U.S. In 2015, Salm co-founded Ab E Discovery, a new venture designed to aid university scientists in the commercialization of their discoveries and inventions that are focused on animal agriculture and human health. To date, Ab E Discovery has spawned three more businesses: Ab E Manufacturing, Ovation Foods and CoVigilance. Salm has applied his knowledge and experience to serve UW–Madison on many occasions, primarily in vision development and fundraising. As a principled businessman and bold entrepreneur, he has faithfully served the meat industry and his efforts have greatly benefited the economy and the citizens of Wisconsin.

Event Details

The Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for Thursday, Oct. 13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Madison East, located at 4402 East Washington Ave in Madison. The event, which will take place during the inaugural Wisconsin Meat Industry Coalition conference (www.bit.ly/WIMeatCoalition), will begin with a social at 4:30 p.m., dinner and keynote speaker at 5:30 p.m., and the induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The cost to attend the induction festivities, including dinner, is $50. Another registration option, which costs $100, includes access to the festivities as well as the conference. Register online by Oct. 5 at: https://go.wisc.edu/mihofregistration.

The Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame was created in 1993 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the meat industry in Wisconsin. The Hall of Fame program is coordinated by the University of Wisconsin­-Madison Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery program. For more information, visit https://go.wisc.edu/mihof or contact Jeff Sindelar at (608) 262-0555 or jsindelar@wisc.edu.