Car accident claims life of popular meat scientist

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Penn State University assistant professor of meat science and technology Chris Raines was killed Sunday night in a one-vehicle accident in Miles Township, part of the State College, PA, metropolitan area.

Raines, 29, grew up in western Ohio, and earned a B.S. in animal science from Oklahoma State University in 2004. He received both an M.S. and Ph.D in meat science from Kansas State University in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Raines was well-known as the author of the website, and for his Twitter “handle” iTweetMeat.

According to a published story on, Raines worked in meat science and technology in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Having joined Penn State in 2008, he was known locally -- and elsewhere -- for his programming in meat quality, safety and compliance issues.

"Chris was a remarkably talented and hard-working individual with so much career promise," Terry Etherton, head of dairy and animal science, said in a written statement. "His untimely loss is so tragic for his colleagues, friends and family. We will miss him greatly."

The university noted his academic interests, which centered in part in meat-color chemistry; meat-product display and packaging systems; consumer demand and trends for red-meat products; and sustainability and meat production.

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St. Louis  |  December, 19, 2011 at 05:34 PM

Chris was an incredible spirit and wit. His tragic passing has been the subject of so much sympathy today... its hard to explain how much of a loss this is for agriculture, but I tried to explain why its a loss in this blog post.

Derrel White    
Woodward, OK  |  December, 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

We lost a good one yesterday. I have seemed to have written that statement way too many times over the last several years, but most of the times that has been an old cowboy that got to live a good life doing what he loved. Those cowboys are not being replaced, but they left their mark forever on our industry. Chris was my friend and we lost him yesterday far too early in his young life. But just like my old cowboy friends, Chris left his impact on me and many others and his legacy will continue long past the time that most of us will be around. Chris was the epitome of an educator. All you have to do is look around the many different sites memorializing him and you will find students of his who he made a forever impact on. Many of those will try to finish what Chris got started. None of them will forget the impact he had on shaping their lives. Chris was an excellent meat scientist, but more than that he was an effective advocate for agriculture. His blog, posts and speeches through extension informed literally millions about the thing he loved the most...meat and agriculture. It is hard to understand why some have to die so young, long before their time and with plenty left to offer all of us. But I have to believe that for some reason, there is a shortage of good meat scientists in heaven and his number was called to where the greatest need was. Our prayers are with his family, friends and the ones closest to him in their time of mourning. We will miss you Chris, but always know that your impact and your legacy will live on forever.

Mercer, PA  |  December, 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Well put Darrel. Chris made a favorable impression on those who were lucky to meet him. I am saddened that I will not have the opportunity to bring him out to the county to help our producers.

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