The agriculture community tragically lost a leader in social media and meat science earlier this year. Dr. Chris Raines had the unique ability to see both sides of an issue and the skill to bring opposing sides to the conversation table. Dr. Raines, or Chris as we all knew him, always had a characteristic way of providing much needed perspective on emotional issues.
To continue his legacy, an anonymous donor is sponsoring one AgChat 2.0 Training Conference Attendee with a $500 scholarship to cover their registration and travel. The selection committee reviewed all applications and chose the winner based on the applicant’s ability to embody all that Chris stood for.
This year’s winner is David Hayden. Here David tells us a little about himself.
Tell us about yourself
I’m originally from KY and was raised on a commercial cow/calf and poultry operation. Agriculture has been a
number one priority for my family since I was a small child. Growing up, I was actively involved in 4-H and FFA. As I grew older, so did my passion for the industry. I attended Murray State University where I majored in animal science. After attending MSU, I moved to Oklahoma to start my masters at Oklahoma State in meat science. I now work for Wolf-Tec inc. as an Applications Specialist assisting customers with the implementation of meat marination and portioning equipment. My job with Wolf-Tec exposes me to all realms of the meat industry both nationally and internationally.
How did you become involved in the meat science industry?
As an undergrad I participated in an exchange program where I was able to attend OSU for a semester. This is where the door to meat science was opened to me. I knew at that point the meat industry was where I wanted/needed to be. With my background in live animal production I felt a meat science degree was imperative to understanding the industry as a whole.
How do you use social media to connect with agriculture’s customers?
I try to connect through Facebook, Twitter and blogging. I’ll admit I don’t have the time to dedicate as I would like but these realms of social media have allowed me to connect with customers, producers and processors from across the country. I have a blog called Farming America where I discuss food and agriculture related issues that arise in the media and are of concern to the industries producers and customers. My Farming America Facebook page has also allowed me to share my blog and other industry related articles which engage conversation among producers and consumers alike. Twitter has also been a great avenue for sharing information as it arises. I tweet under the handle @davidhayden7 sharing information that surrounds our industry with a few occasional tweets through the eyes of a “Meat Geek”.
How did Dr. Raines inspire you?
I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Raines about 3 years ago at the Reciprocal Meats Conference (RMC) in Lubbock, TX. Because he was a fellow OSU meat science Alum, I was finally able to put a face to the name “Chris Raines” that many of my fellow grad students and professors talk so highly about. While at the RMC, I was able to discuss the realm of social media with Chris. He was my number one inspiration for starting my blog and Twitter presence. From that day on we continued communication through social media and he continues to be an inspiration every time I start and publish a blog.