MDA Awards Grants to Bolster Meat Processing Education in Minnesota

Meat Education and Training Grant


Nine Minnesota schools receive funding for training programs

(St. Paul, MN) – July 25, 2025 —  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. $41,296.58
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. $50,000
Byron High School Build upon current programming by developing and adding a meat processing course with local processing partners. $27,175.47
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. $70,000



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. $5,037.80
Nicollet Public School Utilize the National Food Science Safety and Processing Curriculum (CASE) to impact student career readiness in meat science and processing. $60,000
ROCORI Public Schools Develop two classes: one focused on meat science and food safety and the second about further processing, safety, and cultural differences. $39,527.16
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. $21,962.99
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. $35,000
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