University of Nevada-Reno Cooperative Extension's Herds and Harvest Program is offering certification classes this month and during April for beginners who want to learn about meat harvesting and processing.
The training, taught in partnership with the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, provide insight into the processing and retail sales of meat in Nevada, and teach skills in sanitation and food safety.
"Different meats have different methods for processing," explains Jennifer Kintz, Extension community-based instructor. "These classes teach producers how to keep their meat safe and sanitary for consumers, while maximizing the meat's use and profit. They provide hands-on training."
There are two different courses: one for meat harvest (slaughter), and one for meat processing (cutting). Each has its own certification. While both classes are recommended, this is not a requirement.
The courses from 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m. are offered at several different dates this spring. The meat harvest course is offered Feb. 6 and 13, and April 3 and 10. The processing course is scheduled for Feb. 18 and 25, and on April 15 and 22.
All classes will be held at Wolf Pack Meats in Reno at 5895 Clean Water Way. Each is limited to 10 students, so early registration is requested by calling Kintz at (775) 945-3444, Ext. 12, or emailing her are email@example.com. Demand for this class is high.
Cost is $100 per class for which lab coats, plastic hats and gloves will be provided. Participants will receive a book that covers safety regulations and procedures.
The UN Extension began offering the courses last spring, and has certified 60 producers.
"Most of the calls I get are from producers and cattle ranchers who want hands-on learning and training in techniques," notes Kintz. "Many want to be certified because they are seeking job in the industry."