Where’s the Meat?

Many Lubbock locals, as well as students and faculty of Texas Tech University, know where you can get some of the best cuts of meat in the area. COWamongus! is a student-run business that sells Raider Red Meats and distributes fresh, high choice and prime cuts of meat as well, as seasonings like brisket and steak rubs, BBQ sauces and jerky. However, many people may not know how this student-run business came to be and how the company is contributing to the Lubbock and Red Raider communities.

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A meat science student works on the day’s harvest for packaging.

In 1982, Raider Red Meats was formed and started operating with students doing different forms of meat cuts for customers and catering in the Lubbock area.

“We sold the products that were left over from teaching to recoup the cost of teaching,” said Tate Corliss, Raider Red Meats director of sales.

“We focus on quality and that’s what stands behind our brand.”

But in 2008, they became an enterprise of Texas Tech, giving students the ability to get exposure in a real working meat company. Today, about 90 percent of the working staff at Raider Red Meats are current Texas Tech students who get hands-on world experience. These students get exposure to the U.S. Department of Agriculture monitoring process and learn industry practices for harvesting and prepping meats. Students also gain experience with proper packaging practices and safety laws, while studying different meat cuts, learning the different grades of meat, and understanding how to run a local business.

“We focus on quality and that’s what stands behind our brand,” Corliss said.

Prime Experience

Ashley Kanaman, Raider Red Meats office manager and agribusiness graduate student,  helps run the company’s front office, which has helped her gain an understanding of the business side of the meat industry. Ashley plans on using her degree to pursue a career in agricultural lending. She enjoys the experience she is gaining from Red Raider Meats and appreciates the one-on-one connection she has with the customers, especially during the busy holidays, which is when Red Raider Meats is at they’re busiest.

“We do right around $10,000 in sales just in the store,” Ashley said.

Throughout the year, Ashley and the other staff at Raider Red Meats work with over 11 restaurants and markets to sell their product in West Texas cities, including Lubbock, Midland and Amarillo.

Red Raider Meats Currently has 15 locations in the Lubbock area that sell their homemade sausages, jalapeno bacon and different types of seasonings, such as steak and brisket rub. In the Hub City, you can find Raider Red Meats products at Charrasca Brazilian Steak House, the Overton Hotel Pecan Grill as well as United Super Markets, Amigos and Market Street.

Sean Morrow, a meat science graduate student, is one of the assistant managers for the meat lab. He primarily works on the carcass fabrication from the day’s harvest and meat prep. With the experience he is gaining from working with the meat on a day-to-day, basis Sean hopes to get a job with a company like Tyson or Oscar Mayer. He is passionate about the research and development part of the meat science process and likes to put together different ingredients to make new Raider Red Meats products.

“My favorite part is making new stuff like sausages,” Sean said.

Cut Above The Rest

The Texas Tech Meat Judging Team has been winning national titles since 1989 and has won more than 50 percent of the nation’s meat-judging contests since 2000.

Every penny raised by Raider Red Meats goes back to the students in the program, with much of the funding being used for student scholarships. In 2016, the meat company raised more than $12,000 for the scholarship fund at their annual event, Raider Red Meats BBQ and Rib-eye Championship, which was held the end of August 2017. The BBQ cook-off contest drew in different universities from around the nation.

This student-run business has made many positive impacts on the local businesses of West Texas as well as the student’s elite education at Texas Tech University.

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