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Learn ethical slaughter techniques at NTC meat lab

Learn ethical slaughter techniques at NTC meat lab

By Blake Jackson

Northcentral Technical College (NTC) unveils its innovative "Pasture to Plate" butchery program, housed in a brand-new meat lab. This program addresses the growing need for skilled meat processors, arising from challenges exposed during the pandemic.

"Pasture to Plate" equips students with a comprehensive grasp of the entire meat production cycle, from farm to table. Students gain hands-on experience in ethical slaughter techniques, ensuring food safety through HACCP training, and mastering industry-standard equipment in the college's advanced cold lab.

"The cold lab provides invaluable real-world experience," says Chef Brock Decker, a culinary instructor. "Students hone their skills in breaking down animals, understanding cuts, and prioritizing food safety – essential for their future careers."

The program delves into the culinary aspects as well. Students explore different meat cuts in the culinary classroom, learning optimal preparation methods and preparing items for both retail and restaurant settings. This fosters a holistic understanding of meat's journey from farm to table.

"We emphasize appreciating the entire process," Decker adds. "Every step, from raising the animal to serving the final product, holds significance."

NTC's student-run restaurant, Spoons, provides a unique platform for program integration. Students gain valuable experience in sales and customer interaction by selling their processed meats directly to the public.

"Pasture to Plate" not only addresses the current labor shortage but also cultivates long-term economic growth by promoting entrepreneurship. Graduates are empowered to contribute to a more robust and diverse meat industry, either by joining established operations or launching their own ventures.

The inaugural class is capped at 12 students to ensure a safe and intensive learning environment. Additionally, thanks to state funding, tuition assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis, covering all tuition costs. NTC encourages prospective students to apply.

For more information or to apply, visit NTC’s website.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-sstajic

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