MSU Extension Meat Cutter Training Course Fall 2023 - Apply Now

September 6, 2023 - September 21, 2023

Registration Deadline: August 6, 2023 - 12:00AM

MSU Meat Lab, 474 S Shaw Ln #1358, East Lansing, MI 48824

Contact: Jeannine Schweihofer , Andrea J. Garmyn

Two studetns learning to cut a side of beef.

The MSU Extension Meat Cutter Training Course is a hands-on introduction to cutting beef and pork. Participants will learn proper personal protective equipment to wear during meat processing and knife skills. Learn where beef and pork cuts originate from on carcasses and use your knife skills to break down pork and beef carcasses into various primal, subprimal, and retail cuts. Additionally, the course will include practice and techniques for grinding meat. Experience in cleaning and sanitizing equipment and facility will also be gained.

September 6-7, 2023 and September 20-21, 2023 Class
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 6, 2023, for the Fall 2023 class. Please indicate your date preference in the application. Decisions will be made by Aug. 10, 2023, and those selected to attend the Fall 2023 course will sent an invoice for $1,575 to make payment by Aug. 18, 2023. If you are no longer able to attend please notify the group contact immediately so someone else can take your place in the course.

Cost of Class: $1,575 per person
Class is limited to 8 people due to the in-depth nature of the program.
No refunds after April 14, 2023, for the spring class and after Aug. 18, 2023, for the fall class

Prerequisite online meat cutter training video preview:

  • Pork and Beef carcass breakdown
  • Saw assembly and disassembly
  • Grinder assembly and disassembly

Day 1 – 7:30 a.m. to ~4:30 p.m., MSU Meat Laboratory, 474 S. Shaw Lane (Anthony Hall), East Lansing, MI 48824

  • Course and instructor introductions
  • Personal Protective Equipment, Knife safety and sharpening, Steeling technique
  • MSU Meat Lab tour
  • Pork carcass fabrication to wholesale cuts

Lunch provided

  • Pork carcass fabrication to wholesale cuts
  • Sanitation

Day 2 – 7 a.m. to ~4 p.m. MSU Meat Laboratory

  • Bandsaw practice cutting pork loin and Boston butt
  • Pork fabrication (boneless vs bone-in)

Lunch provided

  • Grinding
  • Sanitation

Day 3 – 7 a.m. to ~4 p.m. MSU Meat Laboratory

  • Beef carcass forequarter fabrication

Lunch provided

  • Beef carcass forequarter fabrication
  • Sanitation

Day 4 – 7 a.m. to ~4:30 p.m. MSU Meat Laboratory

  • Beef carcass hindquarter fabrication

Lunch provided

  • Beef carcass hindquarter fabrication
  • Sanitation
  • Course evaluation and wrap-up

Prerequisite online meat cutter training video preview

  • 8 videos for pork carcass breakdown (week 1)
  • 1 video for bandsaw operation (week 1)
  • 1 video for grinder operation (week 1)
  • 12 videos for beef carcass breakdown (week 2)

Supplemental material and exercises will be covered using online training 

  • Meat Inspection
    • Federal
    • Custom exempt
    • Retail exempt
  • Food Safety
    • Food hazards
    • Allergens
    • Microbial growth
    • Types of bacteria
    • Foodborne illness
  • Beef Grading
    • Yield grading
    • Quality grading
    • Carcass valuation
  • Fabrication
    • Beef (videos)
    • Pork (videos)
    • Bandsaw Operation (video)
  • Meat Grinding
    • Ground beef
    • Fresh sausage
    • Grind sizes
    • Grinder operation (video)
    • Formulations
  • Aging meat
  • Retail display
    • Merchandizing
    • Fresh meat color
    • Cooked meat color
    • Packaging
    • Lighting
    • Product rotation & location
    • Display and storage time
    • Customer interaction
    • Yield tests and pricing
  • Labeling
    • Labeling specifications
    • Lot coding
    • Label requirements
    • Nutritional information
    • Label approval
    • Label claims

*Topics to change as needed and product availability

Session Collaborators 

  • Dr. Andrea Garmyn, Michigan State University,
  • Dr. Jeannine Schweihofer, Michigan State University Extension,
  • Ms. Jennifer Dominguez, MSU Meat Lab Manager
  • Mr. Ryan Varner, Assistant MSU Meat Lab Manager


Registration for this event has closed.

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