Derris D. Burnett

  • Department of Animal And Dairy Sciences


Dr. Burnett is a meat scientist and muscle biologist involved in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University. He also directs the meat science and muscle biology laboratory at MSU. In addition to his formal teaching responsibilities in meat science and growth physiology, his experience includes providing processing and marketing avenues for local meat animal producers. Dr. Burnett has also developed a mobile fabrication demonstration system used to educate small and limited resource farmers on ways to add value and profitability to their meat animal operations through retained ownership and direct marketing. He also recently received funding through industry partners to investigate the efficacy of natural antimicrobials on post-harvest processing and shelf-life of red meat, seafood, and produce products. 


Burnett, D. D., J. F. Legako, K. Phelps, and J. M Gonzalez. 2020. Biology, strategies, and fresh meat consequences of manipulating the fatty acid composition of meat. J. Anim. Sci.98(2):skaa033.
Contreras-Correa, Z. E., R. L. Lemire, D. D. Burnett, and C. O. Lemley. 2020. Temporal transcript abundance of clock genes, angiogenic factors and nutrient sensing genes in bovine placental explants. Theriogenology. 151:74-80.
Ferjak, E. N., C. A. Cavinder, A. T. Sukumaran, D. D. Burnett, C. O. Lemley, and T. T. N. Dinh. 2019. Fatty acid composition of mesenteric, cardiac, abdominal, intermuscular, and subcutaneous adipose tissues from horses of three body condition scores. Livestock Sci. 223:116-123.

Holtcamp, A. J., A. T. Sukumaran, A. E. Schnedler, B. J. McClenton, E. Kunze, C. R. Calkins, B. B. Karisch, D. D. Burnett, and T. T. N. Dinh. 2019. Effects of feeding endophyte‑infected tall fescue seeds to stocker Angus steers on retail quality attributes of beef strip steaks. Meat Sci. 149:31-39

Lemley, C. O., C. G. Hart, R. L. Lemire, E. H. King, R. M. Hopper, B. Park, B. J. Rude, and D. D. Burnett. 2018.  Maternal nutrient restriction alters uterine artery hemodynamics and placentome vascular density in Bos indicus and Bos taurus. J. Anim. Sci. 96(11):4823-4834.

Related Grants
D. D. Burnett and S. B. White. 2020. Evaluating the antimicrobial efficacy of proprietary formulation on background microflora and shelf life in meat and seafood products. Chemco, LLC. $45,780.40. 

D. D. Burnett. S. B. White, T. T. N. Dinh, C. Crist, M. W. Schilling, J. Silva, and B. Williams. 2020. Meat Chemistry and Cuisine: Using a proven pedagogical method to train extension agents and other professionals serving small-scale and limited resource goat, sheep, and beef producers. USDA Southern Sustainable Agriculture, Research, and Education Professional Development Program. $80,805. 

D. D. Burnett, B. Farrell, and G. Tabler. 2019. Cochran Fellowship (Morocco): US Meat and Poultry Overview. USDA-FAS Cochran Fellowship Program. $49,755.20.

D. D. Burnett, S. B. White, and T. T. N. Dinh. 2018. Use of a novel post-harvest sanitization process to reduce pathogenic and spoilage microbes on beef and pork carcasses and meat cuts. Novtech, LLC. Specific Memorandum of Agreement. Amount: $32,500.


Dr. Burnett’s Farm to Fork research and teaching program emphasizes the pipeline through which livestock are raised, marketed, harvested, and processed into meat products. Current research includes fetal programming of postnatal muscle growth and development in beef cattle and pigs. He also works closely with local producers on farm-direct marketing of custom labeled meat products and has recently been involved in planning and consultation on meat processing facility design and operation in academia and private industry. Dr. Burnett also investigates post-harvest sanitization techniques to improve the safety and shelf-life of meat products. Together these approaches ensure viable market conduits for small producers for their meat products and extends the value and safety of these products in wholesale and retail settings. 

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