Mr. Macc Rigdon
Macc Rigdon is from Bakersfield, California where he was raised and graduated from high school. From there he continued his education at Bakersfield College studying mechanical engineering and transferred to California State University, Fresno. While studying at Fresno State he changed his major and became heavily involved with studying meat science. While studying as an undergraduate he was employed at the meat lab on campus, was a member of the meat judging team and a member of the meat science club. Macc graduated from Fresno State in December, 2013 and came to The University of Georgia never giving up his loyalty to the bulldogs! While not studying, Macc enjoys spending his time hunting and being outdoors. Macc completed his MS at UGA under the direction of Dr. Stelzleni exploring novel enhancement solutions for pork. Macc decided to continue his education at UGA and with StelzLab and started his PhD program in January 2016.
Ms. Chevise Thomas
Chevise Thomas is an international student from St. Catherine, Jamaica. In 2008, Chevise began her undergraduate degree at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, where she later graduated Magma Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Animal Science. While at Lincoln University, Chevise was also an active member of the Lincoln University Track and Field team, served as an officer of the Lincoln University Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science chapter, and the Lincoln University International student organization. After completing Lincoln University, Chevise did a summer internship at the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Chevise then attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, where she obtained her Master’s of Science in Animal Science with an emphasis in Animal Breeding and Genetics. During this time, Chevise worked at Lincoln University of Missouri as a Graduate Research Assistant, through a collaborative program between both Universities. Chevise thesis research project focused on the divergent selection for parasite resistance in a closed line of Kiko x Boer Goats. Chevise is currently attending the University of Georgia, Athens in hopes of pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Animal Science with an emphasis in Meat Science.
Ms. Jenna Lacey
Jenna Lacey was born in Dothan, Alabama and raised in Pace, Florida. Upon graduation from Pace High School in 2011, she began her undergraduate career at the University of Georgia studying Animal Sciences. Jenna was very involved in the UGA Block and Bridle Club, UGA Meats Judging Team, UGA Cattlemen’s Association as well as the Georgia Beef Board during her undergraduate studies. As an undergraduate, Jenna worked at the UGA Double Bridges Beef and Sheep unit and utilized her production and management study program. Following graduation from UGA, Jenna began working for Pilgrim’s Pride as a Fresh Plant Production Supervisor. After working for Pilgrim’s Pride for six months she came back to the University of Georgia working for J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center in Watkinsville, GA performing general herd and land management tasks. In August of 2015, she began a Master’s program with the Animal and Dairy Sciences department under the direction of Dr. Alex Stelzleni focusing on forage finishing production systems and evaluating the carcass effects and overall meat quality in terms of specific forages.
Mr. Robert Mckee
Robert McKee is from Sewanee, TN where his family farms row crops and raises beef cattle. He attended and graduated from The Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN where he played lacrosse and was a member of the trap and skeet team. He began his undergraduate career at Auburn University in August of 2008 as a pre-med student but changed his major to Agronomy and Soils during his sophomore year. After graduating from Auburn University with a B.S. in Agronomy and Soils in May of 2013 he began a masters program at Auburn University where his research focus was on forages, grazing management, and beef cattle nutrition under the direction of Drs. Tucker, Bransby, van Santen, and Muntifering. Robert began working as a graduate research assistant for the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at the University of Georgia in May of 2016. His research is focused on forage finished beef under the direction of Drs. Stelzleni, Stewart, and Hancock. His extracurricular activities include a wide variety of outdoor activities, cooking, traveling, gardening, music, and spending time with his dog, Jackson.
Mr. Watcharawit Meenongyai
Watcharawit Meenongyai is a Ph.D. candidate from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Watcharawit graduated with a Bachelor‘s Degree (Second Class Honours) and Master’s Degree from the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University. For master thesis Watcharawit studied ruminant nutrition. After graduating with his Master’s Degree, he had been working as a lecturer at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agro-Industry, Kasetsart University, Chalermphrakiat Sakon Nakhon Province Campus, Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. While working at Kasetsart University, his research focused on beef production and meat quality. After working for 7 years, Watcharawit has received the Research and Researchers for Industries (RRI-Ph.D.) scholarship from the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) to study in the doctoral degree at the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. His research topic is “Study of varying acid base condition of total mix ration on improving meat quality composition and healthy beef meat production”. His research is now under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Virote Pattarajinda, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jutarat Sethakul and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexander M. Stelzleni. The RRI-Ph.D. scholarship also supports students to study abroad for 1 year. At the present time, Watcharawit is attending at the University of Georgia, Athens.