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Want to be a butcher? Become an apprentice

Northeast Roundup: Attend a webinar to learn accounting skills for your farm.

June 14, 2024

3 Min Read
Trainees as they watch a butcher with a cut of meat
BECOME A BUTCHER: Now approaching its fifth year, the Butcher Apprenticeship Program at Penn State is designed to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in the meat processing industry. It runs this year from July 22 to Aug. 22 in University Park, Pa. Michelle Kunjappu

An initiative to provide hands-on training for participants who want to become proficient butchers is back again this year.

Now approaching its fifth year, the Butcher Apprenticeship Program, designed to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in the meat processing industry, will run from July 22 to Aug. 22 in University Park, Pa.

Put on by Penn State Extension, the program allows participants to engage in practical, experiential learning, and to develop their skills in a real-world setting. They will learn not only meat fabrication, but also knife skills and food safety from industry professionals. Participants will benefit from direct mentorship and guidance from professionals with a proven track record in the field.

The curriculum covers meat anatomy, food safety and sanitation, customer service, and business management, among other relevant information.

As an apprentice, participants commit to 216 hours of related technical instruction from Penn State Extension faculty and educators, and 3,000 hours of on-the-job training where a co-worker and assigned mentor directs learning. In total, the program will take apprentices about two years to complete.

After they complete the program, apprentices will have access to job placement assistance and networking opportunities.

Visit for more information about the curriculum, admission requirements and application process.

Learn basic accounting skills

Need help learning basic accounting skills for your farm business? Attend a virtual Penn State accounting course starting July 18.

This online, instructor-led course will teach you how to set up and maintain your financial records using QuickBooks. Participants can learn how to create and use the chart of accounts, and customer and vendor centers. They can also learn how to track assets, pay bills and manage loans.

Additionally, this course teaches how to use these features to build a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement. The course includes educational videos, readings and practice questions that students can complete on their own.

There are three instructor-led live webinars where the instructor will present additional examples and answer questions. The webinars will also be recorded.

The course also contains a case study so students can practice using QuickBooks without jeopardizing their own financial information. At the end of each section, the instructor will explain the assignment in one video and show you how the assignment can be completed in another video. You do not need to have QuickBooks installed to participate in this course.

If you do not have the software or are using QuickBooks online, do not download the case farm.

The course includes a certificate of completion that students can earn by passing a final quiz with a score of 80% or better. It is based on the concepts presented in the course, although you do not have to complete the case study in order to earn your certificate.

This course opens July 18 with webinars on Aug. 1, 8 and 15. All webinars begin at noon. A Zoom link will be provided in the course. The cost is $109.

For more information or to register for the course, visit

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