(WAUSAU, Wis.) – Northcentral Technical College (NTC) proudly announces the grand opening of its innovative, fully farm-integrated Pasture to Plate Butchery program, positioning NTC and Wausau to educate the next generation of meat processors for the State. This new program, complete with a 1,300 square foot ‘cold lab’, underscores NTC’s commitment to providing cutting-edge training that meets the evolving needs of the agricultural and culinary industries.

Providing Central Wisconsin with Meat Production Education

The Pasture to Plate Butchery Certificate is designed to equip students with comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in every aspect of the meat production process, from sourcing livestock to humane harvest to preparing cuts for consumption to retail sales. Through a combination of classroom instruction, practical training and field experiences, students will gain proficiency in humane handling and slaughter under inspection, meat processing, sausage making, HACCP principles and butcher shop marketing and management skills.

“We are thrilled to introduce our Pasture to Plate Butchery program as an extension of our Culinary Arts education on campus,” said Culinary Arts Faculty Chef Travis Teska, “As the demand for locally sourced, high-quality meats continues to grow, NTC is leading the way in preparing skilled professionals who can meet this demand while promoting ethical and sustainable practices.”

“With programs like this in the State, hopefully we will never find ourselves in the position we found ourselves during the pandemic with not enough meat production to harvest and process animals which resulted in meat animals being killed without being used,” noted Chef Jon Reinke, Culinary Arts Faculty at NTC.

The program curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Livestock selection and breeding
  • Humane handling and welfare
  • Meat fabrication and utilization
  • Sanitation and HACCP principles
  • Marketing and entrepreneurship in the meat industry

A key feature of the program is its emphasis on farm-to-table principles, which ensures that students understand the entire supply chain and can make informed decisions at every stage of meat production. Through partnerships with local farmers and NTC’s Agriculture Center of Excellence, students will have the opportunity to engage directly with livestock operations and gain real-world insights into sustainable agriculture practices.

“As a leading provider of workforce development programs, NTC is committed to preparing graduates who are not only skilled but also socially responsible stewards of the land,” said Chef Teska. “The Pasture to Plate Butchery program exemplifies our dedication to equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the modern meat industry while upholding the highest standards of ethics and sustainability.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the Pasture to Plate Butchery Certificate for the upcoming academic year. Tuition may be partially or fully reimbursed by State grants. For more information or to apply, visit www.ntc.edu/pasture-plate-butchery.