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Southern Minnesota Colleges Launch Training For Next Generation Of Meat Cutters

Southern Minnesota Colleges Launch Training For Next Generation Of Meat Cutters

By Hannah Yang

A shortage of qualified meat cutters is leaving small butcher shops in rural communities desperate for help. Two southern Minnesota colleges launched pilot programs introducing a new generation of meat cutters to the craft. 

On a recent weekday, staff at Carlson Meats in Grove City, Minn., were busy getting orders ready for customers. In the back, carcasses hung in the coolers as white-clad staff trimmed different cuts of meat.

Store manager Jesse Weseman constantly needs more workers to tackle the never-ending flow of orders. 

beef

“It’s homemade,” Weseman said about the store’s produce. “Everyone thinks homemade cooking is better. So, the sausage sticks (we) make them here, and it’s just better than mass produced meat.”

Carlson’s been running at full capacity with its small shop, processing 18 to 19 beef animals and about 20 hogs a month. In recent years, many small-town butchers retired and their stores closed. Weseman worries about such businesses disappearing from rural communities if new generations don’t get into the craft. 

“It’s an art that’s dying,” Weseman said. “It’s basically a dying breed.”

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