Longview ISD approves building meat-processing lab for high school students


POSTED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 6:38pm

UPDATED: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 10:52am

Longview High School is building a brand new meat-processing lab. Students will get hands-on experience properly cutting, aging and processing meat. There is a great need for butchers and meat packers and these students will now be able to help fill that demand.

"They're going to learn how to cut the meat into steaks, learn how to market the meat and find out what is presentable to the consumer. There going to learn about meat science, they will learn about muscle biology, they will be able to go into the career field as a butcher or they can go on into college. They can compete on a national level in a meat judging contest," said Agricultural Science teacher John Denson.

There are only a few high schools in the state that offer this type of hands on learning facility and even though the class is designed mainly for juniors and seniors, freshman and sophomores can learn how to package and make sausages.

"We will be able to compare carcasses we will do quality graze and yule graze and which ones will be the most desirable for the consumer," said Denson.  

After awhile, they will open up their lab to the community and butcher and help dress East Texans' meat.

"We're training kids that's important, but at the same time we're going to be serving the community," said Director of Career and Technology James Bowie.

This class will be offered for two years starting sophomore year. Students also will receive dual credit for the course. They will first take an introductory meat class and then the next year get hands on experience in the lab.

''We have food science technology classes that will be a stepping stone into the meat science and then there will be meat science biology classes where they will actually learn the anatomy of the farm animals and they will be able to dissect a live cow," said Denson.

After they get approval from USDA the community can bring in their meat for the students to butcher and/ or package up.  The students can also sell the meat they dressed for consumers.

Already, many kids are interested to sign up and other teachers want to bring their students to observe.

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