2019 Maine Meat Cutting School

Wednesday, April 10 – Saturday, April 13, 2019
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day
Maple Lane Farms, Charleston, Maine

cutting steak on stainless steel counter

Workshop is FULL. Please contact Melissa Babcock if you have questions or if you would like to be added to a waiting list.

Space is limited. Maximum number of participants: 15

Registration deadline: March 27, 2019

Cost: $275.00 per student. Price includes meals,  references, materials, and a 6-inch boning knife.

Some grant opportunities are available for financial assistance.

Who should attend: Anyone interested in professional meat processing, especially young professionals interested in a career in meat cutting/processing. However, this is a tremendous opportunity for livestock producers interested in learning more about meat cutting and processing.

Description: The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 4-day course in professional meat cutting/processing in Charleston, ME on April 10-13. This course includes both classroom and hands-on training. Participants will learn about: History of US meat production, consumer trends, humane handling and slaughter of livestock, meat quality, food safety, labeling, and customer service. In addition, participants will have hands-on training with beef, swine, and lamb cuts, as well as, sausage making. Students will have the opportunity to tour professional/commercial meat processing facilities.

Special guest, Dr. Gregg Rentfrow will serve as the lead instructor. Doctor Rentfrow is a meat professor at the University of Kentucky, and serves as the state extension meat specialist, the University of Kentucky’s meat lab director and teaches courses in meat science. Other instructors include Dr. Robson Machado, Assistant Extension Professor and Food Science Specialist, and Dr. Colt Knight, Assistant Professor of Extension and State Livestock Specialist.

Topics covered:

  • History of Meat and USDA Meat Inspection
  • Consumer Trends
  • Humane Handling
  • Beef Processing Laboratory
  • Hands-On: Knife Safety; Sanitation/Cleanup
  • Meat Quality-Color
  • Food Safety and Personal Health
  • Common Pathogens in Meats and the Meat Room
  • Swabbing Activity
  • Lamb Processing Laboratory
  • Meat Quality-Fat/Marbling
  • Age Verification
  • Labeling
  • What is HACCP?
  • Pork Processing Laboratory
  • Meat Quality-Tenderness
  • Hand-On Learning: Proper handling of animals before slaughter and the proper process of killing
  • Customer Service
  • How much Meat to Expect from Each Species
  • Sausage and Processes Meats
  • Touring of two Meat Processing Plants


*Financial Assistance

Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) Workforce Program Assistance:

Financial assistance is available for individuals who meet income guidelines and are one of the following:

  • Recently dislocated workers; i.e. Have you been laid off or become unemployed recently?
  • Residents of Piscataquis, Penobscot, or Hancock Counties
  • In any county in Maine, workers who have been employed in agriculture within the last 2 years.

Assistance may include course tuition, mileage assistance, tools and supplies, and other costs of training.

Contact Chris at EMDC (chuh@emdc.org; 610.1521) to find out if you qualify.

Apprenticeship & Strategic Partnerships:

This funding is available ONLY to people in Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Kennebec, Knox, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington counties.

Contact: Joan Dolan
Director of Apprenticeship & Strategic Partnerships
Maine Department of Labor
55 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Melissa Babcock at 207.581.2788 or 1.800.287.7170 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests from accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however, all requests will be considered.