Riverton, Wyo. – New coursework at Central Wyoming College aims to contribute to an ongoing revision of the nation’s food systems.
To support a changing meat economy, Central Wyoming College’s meat science initiative is training a new generation of butchers in meat processing and marketing supported by small to mid-scale, locally-minded meat enterprises.
Students learn how to offer personal service both to customers and livestock producers. CWC’s program puts emphasis on internships and professional development by utilizing co-op work experience in the community. Participants combine hands-on and real-world experience while training for everything they need to be successful in the industry.
“One thing that we all learned from COVID is that we need to be more aware of where our food comes from, that the grocery stores aren’t always going to have food,” said meat science program director Amanda Winchester. “By working with local producers, we can know where our food comes from. CWC’s meat science program works with local producers to help them keep more money in their pockets and provide a great product for our local community.”
Two different avenues of study are available. Students can get an Associate of Science Degree that stands alone or prepares them for transfer to a four-year institution. The degree readies graduates to run their own processing plants, go into management, work as meat inspectors, or conduct research.
Students also can earn a Meat Processing Certificate through a semester- long program focused on producing well-educated employees. “Not only do we have one of the only Meat Science certificates that offer hands-on learning, but we also run the Rustler Cattle Company meat lab all year long,” Winchester said. “We are offering local producers more opportunities to get their livestock processed.”
The new meat science program has limited space available for students. Classes start Aug. 22. Contact Amanda Winchester online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 307-855-2258 for more information.