clb0012Christy L. Bratcher

Associate Professor

Department of Animal Sciences


2007 Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia
2004 M.S., University of Florida
2002 B.S., University of Florida

Professional experience

March 2009 – Present Auburn Univeristy
June 2008 – March 2009 Buckhead Beef

Honors and Awards

Nov. 2015 Dean’s Grantsmanship Award. Auburn University College of Agriculture
Nov. 2015 Project Team Award. Auburn University College of Agriculture
Feb. 2015 Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award for Education. American Society of Animal Science Southern Region.
Nov. 2014 Dean’s Grantsmanship Award. Auburn University College of Agriculture
Nov. 2014 40 Under 40 in Agriculture. Vance Publishing
Feb. 2014 Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award for Research. American Society of Animal Science Southern Region
Nov. 2013 Dean’s Grantsmanship Award. Auburn University College of Agriculture
Sept. 2013 Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award. Auburn Alumni Association
June 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award. American Meat Science Association
March 2013 Club Advisor of the Year. Auburn University College of Agriculture Ag Council
Nov. 2011 Dean’s Award for Advising Excellence. Auburn University College of Agriculture

Professional Affiliations

2011 – present Alabama Cattlewomen’s Association
2009 – present Alabama Cattlemen’s Association
2009 – present Alabama Farmer’s Federation
2008 – present Institute of Food Technologists
2008 – present National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
2008 – present Southeastern Meats Association (affiliate member)
2001 – present American Society of Animal Science
2009 – present American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists
2009 – present American Meat Science Association

research activities

My research interests include food safety of processed meats, pre- and post-harvest meat animal food safety and consumer acceptance of niche market meat products. Currently, my research focus is on three major projects:

  1. A Systems Approach to Improving the Production and Distribution of Local and Regional Foods for a More Secure Food System: It is a 5-year, $4.8 million UDSA/AFRI funded project to identify gaps in knowledge and practice in the local and regional food system for red meat. The project will start with farmer and producer in-depth surveys and environmental sampling of microflora on farms, in processing facilities and throughout the food chain. After the analysis of data from the initial phase, learning modules to educate farmers and processors will be developed to fill in the gaps in knowledge and practice and create a “Best Practices” outline. The training will be an intensive certification course and following certification, after a time of implementation of the best practices, follow-up surveys and environmental testing will be conducted to assess the impact of the program in reduction of food borne safety hazards.
  2. Antimicrobial Application to Reduce Pathogen Load on Mechanically Tenderized Cuts and on Carcasses: The focus of this project is to find novel ways to introduce antimicrobials, both natural and synthetic as pre-processing technologies, and to reduce the microbial load on the surface of meat cuts destined for mechanical tenderization. There are a variety of companies attempting to validate their technologies, and we are assisting companies as well as investigating our own novel ideas to promote a wholesome and safe food supply.

extension activities

In outreach activities, I seek to help processors throughout the state in addressing their everyday questions related to food safety, processing and business opportunities in meats. Often, people seek advice from my program on the development of meat processing businesses, especially in their efforts to gain knowledge on regulations, safety and business aspects of meat products. 

I also work with numerous on campus and off-campus programs throughout the year in collaboration with Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and/or the ACES to deliver programs to chefs, students, and salespeople in an overview of the full circle of getting beef on the plate from farm to fork.

Courses Taught

ANSC2720 Introduction to Meat Science
ANSC3700 Muscle Foods
ANSC4700 Meat Processing
ANSC7700 Advanced Muscle Foods

select publications

  • DeGeer, S. L., L. Wang, G. N. Hill, M. Singh, S. F. Bilgili and C. L. Bratcher. 2016. Optimizing application parameters for lactic acid and sodium metasillicate against pathogens on fresh beef, pork and deli meats. Meat Science. 118: 28-33.
  • Fisher, K.D., C. L. Bratcher, T. Jin, S. Bilgili, W. F. Owsley and L. Wang. 2016. Evaluation of a novel antimicrobial solution and its potential for controlling E. coli O157:H7, non-O157:H7 shiga toxin-producing #. Coli, Salmonella spp., and Listeria monocytogenes on fresh beef. Food Control. 64:196-201.
  • Broady, J.W, D. Han, J. Yang, C. Liao, C. L. Bratcher, M. R. Liles, E. H. Schwartz. 2016. Survival and metabolic activity of Listeria Monocytogenes on Ready-to-Eat roast beef stored at 4°C. Journal of Food Science. 81(7): M1766-M1772.
  • Wideman, N. M. Bailey, S. Bilgili, H. Thippareddi, L. Wang, C. L. Bratcher, M. Sanchez-Plata, and M. Singh. 2016. Evaluating best practices for Campylobacter and Salmonella reduction in poultry processing plants. Poultry Science. 95:306-315.
  • Palmer, C.E., C. L. Bratcher, M. Singh, and L. Wang. 2015. Characterization and survival of environmental Escherichia coli O26 isolates in ground beef and environmental samples. Journal of Food Science. 80(4):M782-M787.
  • Jiang, T., J. C. Wicks, T. K. Welch, W. F. Owsley, S. P. Rodning, K. A. Cummins, C. L. Bratcher. 2014. Growth performance, carcass characteristics, and pork quality of pigs fed plum juice concentrate as a feed additive. The Professional Animal Scientist. 30(2): 252-259.
  • Wicks, J. C., T. Jiang, T. K. Welch, M. Singh, W. F. Owsley, K. A. Cummins, and C. L. Bratcher. 2014. Effects of supplemental feeding of plum juice concentrate on fecal microbial shedding in growing-finishing Yorkshire pigs. The Professional Animal Scientist. 30(2):2360-265.
  • S. D. Perkins, C. N. Key, M. N. Marvin, C. F. Garrett, C. D. Foradori, C. L. Bratcher, L. A. Kriese-Anderson and T. D. Brandebourg. 2014. Effect of residual feed intake on hypothalamic gene expression and meat quality in Angus-sired cattle grown during the hot season. Journal of Animal Science. 92(4):1451-1461.
  • S. D. Perkins, C. N. Key, C. F. Garrett, C. D. Foradori, C. L. Bratcher, L. A. Kriese-Anderson and T. D. Brandebourg. 2014. Residual feed intake studies in Angus-sired cattle revel for hypothalamic gene expression in regulating feed efficiency. Journal of Animal Science. 92(2):549-560.
  • Key, C. N, S. D. Perkins, C. L. Bratcher, L. A. Kriese-Anderson and T. D. Brandebourg. 2013. Grain feeding coordinately alters expression patterns of transcription factor and metabolic genes in subcutaneous adipose tissue of crossbred heifers. Journal of Animal Science. 91(6):2616-2627.
  • Zhao, L., P. J. Tyler, J. R. Starnes, C. L. Bratcher, D. L. Rankins, T. A. McCaskey, and L. Wang. 2013. Correlation analysis of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli shedding and fecal bacterial com position in beef cattle. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 115(2):591-603.
  • Nagel, G. M., L. J. Bauermeister, C. L. Bratcher, M. Singh and S. R. McKee. 2013. Salmonella and Campylobacter Reduction and Quality Characteristics of Poultry Carcasses Treated with Various Antimicrobials in a Post-Chill Immersion Tank. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 165(3):281-286.
  • Morey, A., C. L. Bratcher, M. Singh and S. R. McKee. 2012. Effect of liquid smoke as an ingredient in frankfurters on Listeria monocytogenes and quality attributes. Journal of Poultry Science. 91(9):2341-2350.
  • Bratcher, C. L., B. S. Wilborn, H. M. Finegan, S. P. Rodning, P. K. Galik, K. P. Riddell, M. S. Marley, Y. Zhang, L. N. Bell and M. D. Givens. 2011. Inactivation at various temperatures of bovine viral diarrhea virus in meat derived from persistently infected cattle. Journal of Animal Science. 90(2):635-641.
  • McMurtrie, K. E., C. R. Kerth, C. L. Bratcher, P. A. Curtis and B. Smith. 2011. Marinating effects on the sensory characteristics of grain- or forage-finished beef. Meat Science. 90(3):747-754.
  • D. F. Johns, C. L. Bratcher, C. R. Kerth and T. A. McCaskey. 2011. Translocation of surface inoculated Escherichia coli into whole muscle non-intact beef striploins following blade tenderization. Journal of Food Protection. 74(8):1334-1337.
  • Bratcher, C. L., N. L. Dawkins, S. Solaiman, C. R. Kerth and J. R. Bartlett. 2011. Texture and acceptability of goat meat frankfurters processed with three different sources of fat. Journal of Animal Science. 89(5):1429-1433.
  • DeGeer, S. L., M. C. Hunt, C. L. Bratcher, B. A. Crozier-Dodson, D. E. Johnson and J. F. Stika. 2009. Effects of dry aging of bone-in and boneless strip loins using two aging processes for two aging times. Meat Science. 83(4):768-774.
  • Bratcher, C. L., S. A. Grant, J. T. Vassalli and C. L. Lorenzen. 2008. Enhanced efficiency of a capillary-based biosensor over an optical fiber biosensor for detecting calpastatin. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 23(11):1674-1679.
  • Bratcher, C. L., S. A. Grant, R. C. Stringer and C. L. Lorenzen. 2008. Correlation between a novel calpastatin between biosensor and traditional calpastatin assay techniques. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 23(10):1429-1434.
  • Bratcher, C. L, K. C. Moore, M. P. Keene, and C. L. Lorenzen. 2006. Assessing the foodservice potential of muscles from the chuck. Journal of Foodservice. 17:143-151.
  • Bratcher, C. L., D. D Johnson, R. C Littell, and B. L Gwartney. 2005. The effects of quality grade, aging, and location within muscle on Warner-Bratzler shear force in beef muscles of locomotion. Meat Science. 70:279-284.