Meat Processing Workforce Education
Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry have partnered to establish a meat processing training program in response to the ever-growing need for workforce development in the meat processing industry.
The resources in the program include three self-paced online courses and hands-on learning in the processing of beef, pork, and lamb at 14 high schools, one technology center, and via the Mobile Meat Processing Training Laboratory.
What you’ll learn:
- Meat Fabrication
- Beef Grading
- Food Handling
- Food Safety
- Food Chemistry
Meat Processing Online Courses
The online courses are self-paced, can be started at any time, and can be taken individually or all together. Courses are available to anyone and approved by the American Meat Science Association (AMSA). Completion of each course results in a certificate from the AMSA, providing an industry-recognized credential.
AMSA Food Safety & Science Certification Course ($75): verifies an individual possesses an in-depth knowledge of food safety procedures and standards necessary to thrive in the food industry. Includes content on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems. To learn more, view the course brochure or scroll down to watch a short video. Ready to get started? Enroll here!
AMSA Meat Evaluation Certification Course ($75): verifies individuals are better prepared to enter fields related to the meat animal industry, which includes production and processing. Course content includes animal harvesting procedures as well as carcass and cut fabrication. To learn more, view the course brochure or scroll down to watch a short video. Ready to get started? Enroll here!
AMSA Culinary Meat Selection & Cookery Certification Course ($75): verifies individuals possess the knowledge needed to thrive within the restaurant and culinary industries. Course content includes culinary fabrication procedures, cookery techniques, and knife skill foundations. To learn more, view the course brochure or scroll down to watch a short video. Ready to get started? Enroll here!
Questions? Contact Justin Siler.
Mobile Meat Processing Laboratory
Hands-on training is offered periodically throughout the state via the Mobile Meat Processing Laboratory (MMPL). The MMPL can travel to high schools, technology centers, and industry partner sites to conduct training as needed. The curriculum associated with the MMPL includes up to 64 hours of coursework, including these modules:
- Preparing for Meat Processing
- Fabricating Fresh Meat
- Packaging Meat Products
- Fabricating a Carcass
- Making Value-Added Products
- Marketing Meat Products
If you're interested in hosting the Mobile Meat Processing Lab at your site, download the MMPL Flyer to learn more.
Meat Processing Career Exploration
For instructors and teachers: As a part of the meat processing workforce education training program, Oklahoma CareerTech has developed a virtual reality module for use in Oklahoma classrooms and has virtual reality headseats available for checkout.
The VR experience provides a 360(degree) tour of the Mobile Meat Processing Lab including 15 equipment stations where students will learn about the piece of equipment’s purpose and see a demonstration on how it operates. The VR experience also includes a safety module with built in assessments. To checkout VR headsets for your class, contact Justin Siler.
- AMSA Meat Evaluation Certification
- AMSA Meat Selection & Cookery Certification
- AMSA Food Safety & Science Certification
Interested in starting your own meat processing facility or butcher shop? Check out these additional resources to learn more:
The Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center at Oklahoma State University has resources and associated services for those pursuing starting a meat processing facility or butcher shop.
- Training and Services - check out the online Basic HACCP Training.
- New Meat Processor Resources - this resource page contains helpful links for new meat processors including fact sheets, templates and other useful links.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry – Food Safety Division is the licensing and permitting entity from meat processing in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Beef Council and the Beef Checkoff also offers helpful training resources:
The American Meat Science Association is a nationally recognized trade organization for meat processing and also provides training opportunities, including a periodic offering of Pork 101 and other educational tools.
The Flower Hill Institute Toolkit connects you with the wide ranging federal resources available as part of the USDA’s Meat & Poultry Supply Chain Program.
Other Education Opportunities
Eastern Oklahoma State College offers two education and training tracks in Meat Processing and Food Safety:
- Associate of Applied Science (60 hours)
- Certificate (24 hours)
Oklahoma State University offers a bachelor of science degree option through the Ferguson College of Agriculture:
- Food Science (with available options in Meat Science and Food Safety)
Oklahoma Panhandle State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a Meat Science Option.
For further assistance, contact:
Adult & Career Development Coordinator