DRUMRIGHT, Okla. – Yesterday, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (CareerTech) and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced new educational programs to help curb the workforce shortage in the meat processing industry. 

The curriculum was designed to encourage more commodity processing within the state and help address the ever-growing labor shortage within meat processing plants across the state. It also helps to supply a skilled workforce to rural areas and processing plants across the state.  

“This is an exciting day for the Oklahoma meat processing sector,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture. “I am very proud to be here especially because this solves problems across the board. A lot of times, we just address one piece of something but this provides a solution to both our producers and consumers.”  

Photo Caption: Ag Youth Council members, Abby Bell and Paike McNiel; Career Tech state director, Dr. Marcie Mack; Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur; Representative Ty Burns; Representative Kyle Hilbert, joining together to announce meat processing curriculum to curb the workforce shortage in the meat processing industry.

The Central Technology Center plans to offer multi-level, customizable, online courses to provide students with the certification that aligns with the American Meat Science Association, while still supporting industry need. It will provide workforce development and training within a timely manner. 

Dr. Marcie Mack, state director of CareerTech, was in attendance yesterday to announce the new courses. She explained how CareerTech began the process of offering these courses by meeting with an industry panel to determine the specific criteria and credentials they are needing in their workforce.  

“Right now, we have the new opportunity for individuals to enroll on our website in three meat certification programs,” said Dr. Mack. “The initial phase will be online to help students get their foot in the door. Eventually, we will move to in-person classes for courses such as carcass harvesting.” 

For more information about the curriculum or how to enroll visit the Meat Processing class page here.

Morgan Vance, Public Information Officer
Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry