by Jesse Bussard
I spent my Monday this week attending a memorial for a close friend and colleague, Dr. Chris Raines, at Penn State University. Many of my friends in the agriculture social media circles know him as the infamous @iTweetMeat. He was what I’d call a ‘meat geek’. Another friend referred to Chris as her ‘Dr. Meat Dude.’ He was a inspiring individual. One that clearly made an impact on us all, as this was apparent in the kind words, thoughts, and memories shared about him during the ceremony. And in true Chris Raines’ fashion this may be one of the only memorials I’ve ever been to where the there was a mention of sausages and meat casings.
Chris was taken from us much to early in a car crash on December 18, 2011. I didn’t find out about his passing until the next day but compiled my thoughts in a memorial blog post you can read here. I was glad when I heard that there would be a memorial service held for Chris on campus, as I was unable to attend his funeral.
The memorial was a truly touching ceremony and featured kind words from some of his closest colleagues, friends, and family. Dr. Terry Etherton, Department Head of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State gave a heartfelt introduction followed by a list of speakers that included:
- Bruce McPheron, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences
- Cathy Cutter, Associate Professor of Food Science & Food Safety Extension Specialist
- Amanda Gipe, DAS Graduate Student and Friend
- Ed Mills, Colleague and Friend
- Sarah Doyle, Member of the Penn State Meats Judging Team
- Steve Bookbinder, Food Science Undergraduate Student
- Brent Raines, Father of Chris Raines
The folks that put together this memorial did a great job coming up with a list of speakers that shared some unique memories of Chris and made us all laugh and shed a tear remembering his drive, ambition, and fresh perspective on life. I think of all the speakers though, when Chris’s father spoke it hit home the most. He spoke of Chris’s uniqueness and drive even as a youngster and how that propelled him to be the amazing individual that we all came to love and know so well. Amanda Gipe, Chris’s former graduate student even compiled a series of videos featuring photos and video recordings of some of Chris’s fondest memories and the great work he did for meat science. You can watch the videos on Chris Raines’ Facebook Page here. Also as it only seemed fitting to live tweet the event in honor of Chris’s memory, you can check out the #itweetmeat Twitter stream here.