Dell Allen, former Kansas State University professor and Cargill Meat Solutions vice president of technical services and food safety, was recognized Thursday evening as Kansas Stockman of the Year at a banquet in Manhattan, Kan. The award is presented annually by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council at Kansas State.

Allen is widely recognized as a pioneer in developing many of the food safety protocols used in today’s meat industry. He also taught and mentored many professionals who currently work for America’s leading meat packing and processing companies. His influence on food safety and consumer satisfaction was described as invaluable to the success of modern meat products in America and around the world.

Joining the faculty at Kansas State in 1966, Allen directed the meat laboratory and taught a wide variety of courses both in the meats and live animal areas. From 1967 to 1979 he coached the meat judging team, winning two national championships.

His research efforts at Kansas State were primarily in beef carcass composition and beef quality. He was contracted by the U.S. General Accounting Office to do a nationwide study on beef carcass grading in 1977, resulting in a joint research effort at K-State with the Department of Electrical Engineering to develop the prototype computerized beef grading instrument.

In 1988, Allen joined Excel Corporation (now called Cargill Meat Solutions) where he was responsible for the company’s food safety and quality standards for 20 plants with more than 25,000 employees. During his years at Cargill, Allen worked to implement many technologies that improved product safety and quality, and he reached out to consumer advocacy groups and elected officials to help showcase the livestock industry’s ongoing efforts to provide wholesome, high-quality products from farm-to-fork.

Over his distinguished career, Allen has been recognized with many awards, including: the Scientific Achievement Award from the American Meat Institute; the E. Floyd Forbes Award from the National Meat Association; the Howard Baughman Food Safety Award from the FSIS-USDA; the R.C. Pollack award by the American Meat Science Association; and was named to the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in its initial class of 2009.

Allen is retired and lives with his wife Joyce in Derby, Kan.