Milestones as department head include equine complex, NAAAS
Media contact: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Russell Cross, who has served as head of the department of animal science at Texas A&M University in College Station for the past eight years, has returned to a full-time faculty role effective March 1 and will serve in both teaching and research capacities.
Dr. Cliff Lamb, who has served as assistant director of the University of Florida – North Florida Research and Education Center, became department head effective March 1.
“It’s been quite an honor to serve as animal science department head,” Cross said. “It’s been a fun ride that has provided me the great pleasure of working with our amazing faculty and staff, and valued colleagues – many of whom have become very special friends along the way. As for our students – they are simply the best. Their enthusiasm and energy are contagious, and they motivate me every day.
“I am looking forward to returning to a full-time faculty position that puts me back in the classroom and allows me to resume my passion for conducting meat science research that will be of value to our stakeholders. The future of the department is bright, and I look forward to Dr. Lamb’s leadership and vision.”
During his tenure as department head, Cross was involved in numerous efforts and initiatives to maintain the department’s reputation for excellence, including the hiring of faculty, construction of new facilities such as the Hildebrand Equine Complex, and supporting opportunities for students.
Cross also spearheaded the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science, known as NAAAS, which was founded with the goal of increasing funding for animal research and education within the context of increasing funding for all areas of agriculture.
In previous roles in academia, Cross served as executive vice president for operations and chief of staff to former Texas A&M President Elsa Murano. Prior to that appointment, he was deputy vice chancellor and associate dean for agriculture and life sciences. He also served as head of the department of animal science and the meat and muscle biology section, the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in Meat Science, and was the founding director of the Texas A&M Institute of Food Science and Engineering.
His service in government includes the role of administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. At the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, the largest animal research center in world, Cross served as research leader within the meat research group.
He also pioneered the International Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Alliance, serving as its founder and executive director. The alliance represents 24 food associations, 40 universities and the governments of 13 countries.
Within the private sector, Cross was the CEO and chairman of Future Beef Operations LLC and has served as director of food safety for IDEXX Laboratories. Cross was executive vice president of food safety/government and industry affairs for National Beef Packing Co. and was also vice president of DuPont Food Industry Solutions.
Cross is published extensively on meat quality and safety.