There are a very limited number of hands-on vocational whole-animal meat cutting programs in the US and Canada that offer short courses and certificate programs. All of these programs listed below accept adult students except for the Buckeye Career Center program, which is for high school students. Most teach only the butchering and processing of meat, very few will teach slaughter practices. Email or call each program for more details. This is an evolving list as more programs are developed and launched around the country. This list does not include degree programs such as animal science or meat science programs typically offered at land grant universities.
If you are a plant owner looking for skilled people to hire, you might consider finding a young person interested in learning and send them to one of these programs under a written “indentureship agreement.” The agreement would stipulate that they would work for you for a minimum number of years after completing training in exchange for your paying for the education. Such an employee would be required to reimburse you for the costs if they dropped out or failed to work for you for the specified minimum amount of time.
Know of a program we are missing here? Contact us!
Arizona – Phoenix
Apprentice Meat Cutter program
Illinois- Chicago (offered virtually, nationwide)
Range Meat Academy
Meat Clerk and Meat Cutter courses. Must take the Meat Clerk courses before you take the Meat Cutter courses.
Ohio – Shelby
Pioneer Career & Technology Center
Meat & Animal Science Program
27 Ryan Rd.
Shelby, OH 44875
Contact: Bill Kucic
(419) 347-7744 x.1269
Pioneer Career Training Center
Ohio – New Philadelphia
Buckeye Career Center (high school program)
Food Processing/Meat Cutting Program
545 University Dr. NE
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Contact: Scott Ripley
Minnesota- Brainerd & Staples
Central Lakes Community College Meat Cutting & Butchery Program, does not include slaughter
16 credit program
Minnesota- Willmar & Hutchinson
Ridgewater College Meat Cutting Program (starting Fall 2022), will include slaughter
18 credit program (online & in-person)
New York- Cobleskill
SUNY Cobleskill Meat Processing and Food Safety Certificate Program is back. 4 week intensive series. Cost is currently: $6,000.
PACE Program Coordinator
Knapp Hall 223
Vermont- Randolph Center
Vermont Technical College
PO Box 500, 124 Admin Drive
Randolph Center, VT 05061
Meat Cutting Butchering Basics Series (currently $500 a course)
Weekend long hands-on trainings in Intro to Butchery, Beef Butchery, and Pig Butchery with instructor Bill Cavanaugh.
Sustainable Farm to Table: Modern Meat Production, One Year Technical Diploma
Madison Area Technical College
1701 Wright Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
This 5 month program at Olds College in Alberta, Canada, includes training in slaughter. The program is offered twice a year and costs about $10,000 with room and board. International students are welcome to apply.
Meat Processing Program
4500 – 50th Street.
Olds, Alberta, Canada T4H 1R6