The Master Meat Crafter Program is a meat processing certification program held at the University of Wisconsin Meat Science Laboratory. The first-of-its kind program takes approximately 2.5 years for an individual to complete. The program consists of completing four elements for successful graduation and subsequent accreditation as a “Master Meat Crafter.”
Acceptance into this program is based upon the quality and content of the required training program application. Applicants with at least five years of experience in ownership, operation, or employment in a meat processing facility will be viewed favorably. There will be no guarantee of acceptance into the program. The program is limited to 25 participants per class.
Six three-day Workshops:
Wisconsin Meat Processing School – March
Fresh Meats School – June
Food Safety & Meat Micro School – August
Meat Curing School – January
Cooked & Emulsified Sausage School – May
Dry & Semi-Dry Sausage School – August
HACCP Training for Meat and Poultry Processors – Required if not previously taken
Workshops include presentations, demonstrations, and product manufacturing. Experts in specific areas from industry and academia serve as instructors.
Targeted Topic Homework Assignments: At least four homework assignments will be administered throughout the program to expand on specific learning objectives.
Mentorship Program: Each participant is expected to mentor an employee or other individual on various meat science and meat processing topics based on their existing knowledge and principles learned from the Master Meat Crafter Training Program. Participants must develop their own mentoring program (approved by training program personnel) prior to the beginning of mentoring.
Plant Project: Participants are required to conduct a plant project. An example might be that a participant would be given the topic of “phosphates.” That participant would need to research phosphates, develop and carry out a small in-plant study regarding phosphates (i.e. impact of cook yields from different levels or types), and write a report about the project. A final written and an oral report will be required in order to graduate. Participants are required to present their plant project at a special one-day graduation program ceremony.
Wisconsin Meat Processing School
Fresh Meats School
First Homework Assignment Due
Food Safety & Meat Microbiology School
Presentation and Approval of Mentorship Program Ideas
Second Homework Assignment Due
Meat Curing School
Presentation and Approval of Plant Project Ideas
Cooked & Emulsified Sausage School
Mentorship/Plant Project Updates
Third Homework Due
Dry & Semi-Dry Sausage School
Fourth Homework Due
Completion of Mentorship and Plant Projects
One-Day Graduation Ceremony and Presentation of Plant Project and Mentorships
The cost for the entire program will be $3,000 for in-state plants and $5,000 for out-of-state plants. The fee can be paid in full up front or broken into quarterly installments ($375 per quarter x 8 quarters). The fee includes: registration for six two-day workshops, participant materials and handouts, business meals and banquets, awards, and certificates.
After successfully completing the four program elements, participants will be accredited as “Master Meat Crafters.” A one-day graduation ceremony occurs after completion of the program.
Jeff Sindelar, Ph.D
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Animal Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Meat Laboratory
View a map showing the locations of specialty meats made in Wisconsin.
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