The need for qualified animal handling and meat processing employees is in high demand throughout the USA. The WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has provided funding for interested students to complete this technical diploma. As a student in the Artisanal Modern Meat Butchery program, you’ll learn about the meat production industry – from care and handling pre-mortem through packaged products ready for retail sale. In this program, you will also participate in an internship with a local meat processing facility, butcher shop, or harvester. Skills learned include:

  • Meat industry knowledge and history
  • Humane handling practices, selection, and care of animals
  • Carcass fabrication, identification, and further processing methods
  • Meat labeling, packaging, and retail operations
  • Food safety and sanitation practices following ServSafe principles

Students who complete the Artisanal Modern Meat Butchery program can utilize this education to:

  • Begin a career as a butcher or slaughter-person
  • Continue post-secondary education in animal sciences
  • Utilize skills for at-home or on-farm processing and storage

Program Highlights

  • Short-term Technical Diploma: Three classes in the spring semester of 2024 and one class and internship in the summer semester of 2024.
  • Hybrid Classes: Eight in-person labs on Saturdays, five in-person field trips, and limited weekday online coursework.
  • Industry Training: Work with meat-focused businesses to gain hands-on experience with local professionals in your 216 hour internship.
  • Grant Funded: Full tuition for this program is available on a limited basis, thanks to Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Meat Talent Development grant.

The Artisanal Modern Meat Butchery program is being offered at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College campus in Fennimore, WI. For more information, please contact Heather Oppor by emailing Heather.

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  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Students entering the Artisanal Modern Meat Butchery program should:

    • Be able to lift 30 pounds
    • Have respect for the care and humane handling of animals
    • Pay attention to details and neatness
    • Prioritize safety and sanitation
    • Have good hand-eye coordination
    • Think creatively

    Program Basics

    • This program is open to all ages 16+
    • Classes are scheduled to be held at the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College campus in Fennimore, WI for the spring 2024 semester.
    • The program will include on-line, in-person, and hands-on learning and participation.
    • This program will also be offered in fall 2024 and spring 2025.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Agriculture, animal science and culinary arts
    • Written and oral communications

    Program Fees

    • This program is being funded by a grant from WI DATCP.
    • This program is not eligible for financial aid.
    • Students will be required to purchase the designated knife and PPE kit
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of this program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Examine components of a farm-to-table meat production system.
    • Prepare whole muscle and value-added products for consumption.
    • Merchandise meat for sale.
    • Properly handle and store meat in accordance with HACCP principles.
  • Career Opportunities
  • Southwest Tech’s Career Connection Center offers services to assist students looking for job placement.

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers

  • Southwest Tech has entered into numerous post-secondary transfer agreements with area colleges and universities to support our graduates' continuing education. Students interested in transferring Artisanal Modern Meat Butchery credits to other colleges or universities are  strongly encouraged  to check with the receiving institution first, prior to enrolling in coursework at Southwest Tech.

This project was supported, in whole or in part, by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). The views expressed in written materials, publications, speakers, and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of DATCP; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the State of Wisconsin.