The JBS Global Food Innovation Center In Honor of Gary & Kay Smith officially opened on the Colorado State University campus on April 9, when JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira cut the ribbon on the $20 million state-of-the-art facility.
In March 2017, JBS USA entered into a strategic, long-term partnership with CSU that included a $12.5 million investment toward construction of the building and educational programming for JBS USA and Pilgrim's team members.
"We're so pleased to be here today to help celebrate the opening of this center," Nogueira said at the grand opening ceremony. "Our mission at JBS is to be the best, and the mission of this facility is to advance best practices in food safety, meat sciences and animal handling and welfare. So it's a natural partnership for us and one that we're proud to be a part of."
For JBS, the partnership with CSU serves as a long-term investment in the competitiveness of food and farming in the state of Colorado, across the United States and around the world. The JBS Global Food Innovation Center enables CSU to expand as a source of innovation and discovery in the food industry and prepare future leaders to take on the challenges of tomorrow. The 36,000-square-foot center will be a hub for cutting-edge global innovations in new product development, culinary research, food science, food safety, and animal welfare.
"We take a global view of our education and research, and we were looking for new ways to spur innovation in livestock and meat science, food safety, food security and animal welfare," said Ajay Menon, Dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences. "JBS provides that necessary partnership - our goals and values align well with theirs - and we're very grateful for their support.
"Our goal for this facility is not only to support teaching and research - it has to impact the industry and advance the way meat processing is done around the world," Menon said.
The JBS mission is to be the best and create the opportunity for a better future for all of its team members. Partnering in this facility enables the company to extend that mission to CSU students as well.
"We now have the ability to create opportunity for young people to learn about our industry in the most advanced center of its kind," said Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS Global CEO. "These students are the future of agriculture and food."
Located within 60 miles of every sector of the livestock and meatpacking industries, the food innovation center is designed for global impact. The Center provides a world-class facility for research, education, innovation, and industry partnerships.
The multidisciplinary nature of the Meat Science program at CSU involves expertise in all aspects of the production, food, and consumer continuum, including:
- animal handling and well-being;
- nutrition and health;
- food safety and security;
- value-added and culinary development; and
- international collaboration.
For years, students enrolled in the program at CSU have had to travel to labs and/or plants off-site in order to experience the process first hand. Now, it's all under one roof on campus, in this innovative facility that will serve students well into the future.
"JBS is, more than anything, a people business," Nogueira said. "So we really see this as an investment in people - the people who will learn here for generations to come."