Why two Minnesota colleges are starting meat cutting programs

1 Oct 2021


Starting next year, two colleges in the Minnesota State system plan to offer courses in a field not usually associated with higher education: meat cutting.

The Staples campus of Central Lakes College and Ridgewater College in Willmar and Hutchinson are launching programs aimed at training the next generation of animal slaughter, butchery and processing workers. 

Central Lakes is even getting $150,000 from the Minnesota Legislature for its program, in part because lawmakers view it as a way to train workers for smaller and mid-sized processing facilities that make farmers less reliant on a handful of massive slaughterhouses — plants that shut down temporarily when workers got sick with COVID-19 early in the pandemic last year.

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