butchery school

Just outside of New Plymouth, Idaho, Chase Shoemaker raises a small herd of buffalo, or bison, as they are called. But… he doesn’t just raise bison.

“I teach high school in New Plymouth, animal science, plant science, welding and as an FFA counselor here in town. So I have a day job and a night job. I do everything,” Shoemaker said.

On the other side of his working life, Shoemaker must have meat processing facilities to care for the bison he raises. But there aren’t many facilities that can help him, partly because butchering isn’t one that attracts crowds of people as a career. But Shoemaker thinks students would be interested in it if presented to them as a viable option.

“I think there would be, I really do. I talk about meat science there for one unit and I bring cuts of meat, we do meat identification, meat quality.

If I had the choice, if I had the money, I could put a cooler in this facility and set up a cutting room. And then bring in quarters or halves or whatever and separate them.

Some sort of training program, either at the high school level or a co-op with a junior college, or even a technical school. I mean there’s meat science in universities, but it’s meat science, another spectrum of what we’re trying to do,” Shoemaker said.

“The guys who are going to get these degrees are going into meat science fields, they are going into plant management and operations. They don’t come here to deal with the professional aspect,” Tolbert said.


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