Technical Writing In Food Production

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The second individual that I interviewed was Mr. Gorden Reger. Gorden is a Louisiana Tech University graduate with an Animal Science degree. Until the Louisiana Tech Farm Dairy was shut down, Gorden was the operator and manager of the entire dairy production. Since the shutdown of the dairy, Gorden has been the manager and operator of the Louisiana Tech University Meat Science Laboratory. The Meat Science Laboratory is the processing plant that all Louisiana Tech livestock go through in order to become the final products for human consumption. As one might imagine, this can be an extremely dangerous job.

To begin this interview, I asked Gorden the same simple question as the first interview: How does technical writing apply to us in this field? He too was quick to provide me with a very informative list of important factors that technical writing plays in the everyday routine of this aspect of livestock production. The first fact that he pointed out was the number of various pieces of equipment that are used in this field. Each piece of equipment came accompanied by a data sheet, instructions for use, instructions for assembly, safety warnings, information regarding any protective equipment necessary to operate this equipment, and so on. Without these pieces of technical documentation, the equipment would be seemingly useless and dangerous to any individual that tried to operate it. Without these documents, very little would be achieved during the workday. Another aspect of technical writing that Gorden pointed out was publications and research on what the consumer market currently prefers. In order for a profit to be made, it is imperative that the Louisiana Tech Meat Science Laboratory is producing the products that the consumer is in search of. Without these publications, there would be a substantial amount of loss, both financially and productively. Another note that Gorden touched on is the regular publications of market prices and market trends in livestock. In order for products to be priced both fairly and profitably, there must always be a knowledge of what products are worth. In this business, this value fluctuates constantly and can substantially change in a matter of one single day. Gorden also discussed the use of technical writing in recipes. In order for a product to be produced and sold to the public, it must be approved and constant in its ingredients and preparation. Without technical writing, there would be no approval of products to be produced and sold. Technical writing also provides us with a pathway in which we can give explicit instructions on how to replicate the production of products consistently every single time. If an accident were to occur during the workday, this would have to be disclosed and explained in a technical document, as well. Working alongside health inspectors, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, every bit of paper work that enters and leaves the Meat Science Laboratory is considered a technical document.

There is no doubt that technical writing is present in every aspect of a scientific field. These documents can be present in many forms including accident reports, recipes, safety instructions, and so forth. Technical writing provides us with a sense of consistency, understanding, and safety in every part of our work day.

Tanner Roberts

gorden

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