July 25, 2023

Minnesota’s meat processing industry has received a boost from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), which has awarded $350,000 in one-time grants through its Meat Education and Training (MEAT) Grant Program.

The MEAT Grant provides the opportunity for Minnesota schools to fund equipment purchases, facility renovation, curriculum development, faculty training, and more processing-related activities at new or established training programs for secondary students. Nine schools received grants through this funding, with a maximum award of $70,000.

“Minnesota’s meat cutting and butchery training programs are vital to the future of our state’s processing industry,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “The MDA is pleased to support these nine schools providing new pathways for students to receive more hands-on training experiences and learn about careers in this field.”

A full list of MEAT Grant recipients can be found below. For more information, visit the MDA’s program webpage.

2023 Meat Education and Training (MEAT) Grant Award Recipients

School Name

Project Summary

Award Total

Ashby Public School

Partner with West Central Area Schools and West Central Initiative to teach meat processing through the purchase of equipment for a meat processing mobile trailer.


Bertha-Hewitt Schools

Renovate an existing space to accommodate a walk-in cooler as well as upgraded sinks to allow for proper cleaning of equipment and ensure proper food and student safety.


Byron High School

Build upon current programming by developing and adding a meat processing course with local processing partners.


Lac qui Parle Valley High School

Build a mobile meat processing trailer and collaborate with Ridgewater College to develop a curriculum for meat processing classes.



Morris Area High School

Expand the current Ag Processing course to further provide hands-on experiences and in-depth learning about meat cutting and processing, and provide a culinary experience through Family Consumer Sciences classes by preparing the meat in different ways.


Nicollet Public School

Utilize the National Food Science Safety and Processing Curriculum (CASE) to impact student career readiness in meat science and processing.


ROCORI Public Schools

Develop two classes: one focused on meat science and food safety and the second about further processing, safety, and cultural differences.


Sibley East Public Schools

Update an old Family and Consumer Sciences lab to become a meat cutting lab and develop a pathway in which students will build upon skills every year in grades 8-12, culminating in a work-based capstone.


West Central Area Schools

Further support the purchase of a meat processing mobile trailer and provide up to 100 hours of hands-on training for one agriculture instructor at a local butcher shop.



Media Contact
Logan Schumacher, MDA Communications