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Social Media Pioneer: iTweetMeat

raines.jpgChristopher Raines, assistant professor of meat science and technology, was one of the college’s pioneers in the use of social media as an educational and communication tool. Raines was building a growing national reputation as an important voice in the agricultural community when he was killed in an automobile accident on December 18 at the age of 29.

Raines used social media to reach beyond traditional audiences and engage people across the country on issues ranging from food chemistry and legislation to E. coli contamination and meat processing practices. His Twitter feed (under the handle @iTweetMeat) reached more than 3,900 followers and countless other readers. He also offered a popular blog, meatblogger.org, where he posted his experiences and thoughts about meat as food—where it comes from, how it’s produced, how people consume it, and its health implications.

As an extension meat specialist, he provided educational programs and information covering meat quality, safety, and compliance topics for small meat processors.

But, for a lot of people, Raines will be remembered for his social media persona— iTweetMeat.