Learn specialized skills for all aspects of meat cutting, including processing and packaging.

This 11-month certificate prepares you for a cutting-edge career in Canada’s growing meat processing industry. Learn all aspects of the trade, including nutrition, safety, tools, workplace values and essential communication skills. Enjoy a newly built, modern teaching lab with all the trimmings. Develop skills in curing and smoking for all types of animal protein, including poultry, beef, pork, goat and lamb.

Do you agree with raising animals for meat and preparing them for human consumption? Do you like to work with your hands, enjoy physical labour, and are passionate about delivering high-quality goods and services? If yes, then this is the program for you. Expectations include having good manual dexterity, cooperating with others in a team environment, and being able to work in refrigerated environments for long periods. Small class sizes, dedicated instructors and industry connections will prepare you for a fulfilling career in meat cutting.

Connect with local employers through a 12-week work practicum. If you meet all employer criteria, you may make up to $6,900 during your work-integrated learning experience; plus, take advantage of additional employment opportunities while enrolled in this full-time program.

Rest assured, there is no shortage of work in this sector, and demand is high for skilled workers. After you graduate, you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit; if Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) grants the permit, you may benefit from Assiniboine’s partnerships with industry employers. Your work experience, combined with your credentials and personal interest, may lead to career opportunities such as retail meat cutter, retail meat manager, plant manager, production supervisor and/or sales manager.

Exploring Food Systems


  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent

  • Pass required medical and kinesiology tests

  • Students must be 18 years of age at the time of the program's start date

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list must meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. IELTS score of 5.5 with no subscore less than 5.0 or equivalent is acceptable for this program.

Please note: Applicants must have good mental and physical health with the ability to lift 25 lbs from floor to shoulder and 40 lbs from knee to waist. They must be able to walk up and down stairs many times during the day, stand on concrete floors for approximately 8 hours per day and manage being in cold temperatures for extended periods of time, including going into a refrigerator and freezer.

If you do not meet these admission requirements, please visit assiniboine.net/international for more information.


Careers & Connections


Graduates may find employment opportunities in many different areas of the meat cutting industry. Prospective employers include federal and provincial abattoirs, speciality meat operations, supermarkets, custom processors, case ready and wholesale operations, large-scale animal processing plants, and independently owned storefronts.


Graduates of this program are eligible to receive credit in Assiniboine’s Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Management programs for the following certifications: Emergency First Aid, Fire Safety, FoodSafe, and WHMIS 1.

Tools & Supplies

At-Home Computing

For this program, you are expected to have access to a computer at home. It should have a webcam, microphone and internet access to enable remote learning for the theory portions of your programs.

At-Home Computing Information

Courses & Costs

Estimated Program Costs

Tuition, books and supplies, fees, and Students’ Association fees total $17,395. Health insurance is approximately $955.  
Please note: students may be required to purchase additional supplies for this program.

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

These amounts are non-refundable and full payment is required prior to the program start. 

Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
1st Aid - Emergency (HLTH-0030)

Basic First Aid & CPR techniques taught in an interactive environment for individuals and employees who want an overview of First Aid & CPR in the workplace or home. The course covers skills needed to recognize, prevent and respond to cardiovascular emergences for Adults, CPR and other topics such as choking, airway and breathing emergencies, and prevention of disease transmission. This course meets the minimum regulations for Workplace Health & Safety for Basic First Aid. Participants who meet the required standard receive a nationally recognized certification that is valid for three years. Textbook included in cost of tuition.

0 credit(s) No No No
Bovine Species - Front Quarter (MTPR-0012)

This course includes beef and veal carcass breaking procedures, producing primal, secondary, fabricated, retail, and value-added
products, grading, inspection, product identification, costing and wrapping.

3 credit(s) No No No
Bovine Species - Hind Quarter (MTPR-0013)

This course includes beef and veal carcass-breaking procedures, producing primal, secondary, fabricated, retail, and value-added
products, grading, inspection, product identificatin, costing and wrapping.

3 credit(s) No No No
Cdn Intercultural Awareness (IAPP-0002)

This course is designed to assist international students to transition into, and succeed in, the diverse Canadian workplace. Cultural values and expectations in a professional environment are examined through a variety of methods. Students explore the variety of cultures in Canada, including those of Indigenous peoples. The possible effects of culture on the various roles and the scope of practice in their field of study are explored. Strategies to successfully begin a new job, to create effective working relationships and to resolve conflict are discussed and practiced. Interpersonal and inter-professional communication is reviewed. The importance of concepts such as non-verbal communication, personal and professional etiquette and working as part of a team are emphasized. Students must satisfy Assiniboine Community College's English language proficiency requirements and pass all preparatory courses in order to progress into their college program.

6 credit(s) No No No
Communication - Retail Meats (COMM-0384)

This course provides daily EAL instruction, with focus on introducing and reinforcing retail meat processing and workplace vocabulary for the unit; strengthening oral and verbal comprehension and communication; strengthening workplace proficiency in reading and writing.

6 credit(s) No No No
Curing and Smoking (MTPR-0003)

This course includes production and processing of common cured and smoked varieties of sausages, bacons, hams, other smoked or cured products, packaging, wrapping, and costing.

6 credit(s) No No No
Fire Safety (WRKP-0021)

This awareness seminar is provided by the City of Brandon Fire Department. Participants learn to identify various fire types and understand their individual characteristics. Fire hazard identification and fire safety procedures are demonstrated in relation to food service operations. Participants learn the functions of a fire extinguisher, coupled with a practical learning exercise demonstrating proper handling and extinguishing techniques.

0 credit(s) No No No
Meat Composition & Nutrition (MTPR-0014)

This course includes nutritional value of meat products, muscle types and composition, cooking of raw meats, cooking methods
for different muscle groups, and advising consumers on cooking various meat products.

6 credit(s) No No No
Ovine Species and Seafood (MTPR-0005)

This course includes identification and production of primal, sub-primal, retail and value added cuts from Canadian lamb and goat, with study of common species of seafood. It includes lamb carcass breaking, merchandising, grading and specification, and retail wrapping and pricing of lamb, goat and seafood products.

3 credit(s) No No No
Pork (MTPR-0006)

This course includes breaking down pork carcasses into primal and sub-primal cuts, grading, preparing, packaging, and costing retail pork products. The course content about breaking carcasses specifically goes through the distinction between International cuts. Practical work breaking carcasses could happen on practicum since the program does not include bringing carcasses on site.

6 credit(s) No No No
Pork - International Cuts (MTPR-0015)

In this course, students learn how to process primarl cuts of pork using the various international carcass breaking styles.

9 credit(s) No No No
Poultry (MTPR-0016)

This course includes common poultry species, producing fabricated, retail, and value-added poultry products, grading wrapping,
and costing products.

3 credit(s) No No No
Practicum - MTPR (PRAC-0274)

The practicum component of the course develops employability and trade-specific skills in either the wholesale or the retail meat-cutting environment.

12 credit(s) No No No
Safety, Tools, Sanitation (HLTH-0282)

Prerequisites: HLTH-0030 1st Aid Emergency; COOK-0014 FoodSafe 1; HLTH-0047 WHMIS 1
This course includes procedures related to safety, sanitation, tools and equipment in a professional meat-cutting environment. It includes handling of workplace hazardous materials. Students learn how to prepare safe, sanitary food products while properly utilizing tools and equipment of the trade. Certification would be included in this course.

3 credit(s) No No No
Sausage Making (MTPR-0009)

This course includes history of sausage manufacturing, spices, equipment and safety, diseases associated with sausage manufacturing, formulating, mixing, stuffing, packaging, and pricing.

3 credit(s) No No No
Seminar (IAPP-0003)

This course offers students an opportunity to apply the knowledge that they have acquired in previous courses. Learners demonstrate research skills and the ability to cite sources. They participate in case scenarios, using industry terminology, that utilize numeracy skills and problem based learning techniques to foster deep understanding of good client/customer service. Students must satisfy Assiniboine Community College's English language proficiency requirements and pass all preparatory courses in order to progress into their college program.

4.5 credit(s) No No No
Student Success (IAPP-0001)

This course offers the learner an opportunity to learn and practice the essential study skills needed to thrive in a Canadian post-secondary program of study. Learners gain knowledge of their own learning styles and preferred learning strategies as well as techniques, strategies and approaches for successful note taking, remembering content, test preparation and time management. Classroom etiquette, consensus and team building skills are also emphasized. Students complete a variety of classroom work, quizzes, learning journals and assignments. Students must satisfy Assiniboine Community College's English language proficiency requirements and pass all preparatory courses in order to progress into their college program.

6 credit(s) No No No
Value Added Processing (MTPR-0010)

This course includes content related to identifying methods and ingredients used in making value-added meat products. Production of value-added pork, beef, and poultry products is also included.

3 credit(s) No No No
WHMIS 1 (HLTH-0047)

If you work in the proximity of hazardous materials, this awareness course is for you. As an introduction to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), this course covers safe work habits with hazardous materials, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and labelling of hazardous materials. This course is presented in a straightforward, non-technical manner.

0 credit(s) No No No
Workplace Communication (IAPP-0004)

This course is designed to provide international students with the communication skills required to transition successfully into the Canadian workplace. It prepares learners to utilize effective communication skills both personally and professionally. Students use a broad range of activities to develop proficiency in industry terminology, explore scenarios from the field, develop critical thinking skills, and develop effective strategies to enhance their skills in writing and oral communication. Students must satisfy Assiniboine Community College's English language proficiency requirements and pass all preparatory courses in order to progress into their college program

6 credit(s) No No No


Ryan Whibbs Chairperson MICA

Dr. Ryan Whibbs RSE, BA, MA, PhD

Academic Chair, Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts and Field-to-Fork Research Cluster

Dr. Ryan Whibbs is the Academic Chairperson of the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts and Field-to-Fork Research Cluster. He currently chairs all programs associated with MICA, including Culinary Arts, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Food Processing (Animal Proteins), Sustainable Food Systems, Horticultural Production, Baking Foundations, the Cook Apprenticeship Program at Keeyask Hydro Dam, and the college's Field-to-Fork Research Cluster. Ryan came to Assiniboine College in 2019. Before arriving at the college, Ryan developed and coordinated Canada's first four-year culinary degree program, the B.Comm. (Culinary Management) degree at George Brown College's prestigious Chef School. He also previously taught at Stratford Chefs School, the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University. 

Dr. Whibbs has been active on many boards, and is currently a Member of the Brandon Food Council. He is a past Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association for Food Studies (2014-2017); a subject matter expert advising the Cook's Trade Board at the Ontario College of Trades (OCT); a Member of the Ontario provincial Cook Apprenticeship Curriculum Committee (OCT); a Member of the Board of the Culinary Historians of Canada (2018-2020); and was the Ontario delegate for the federal RSOS (Cook) development initiative in Ottawa in 2019.

Dr. Whibbs completed his Red Seal (Cook) in 2002, spending time working in Canada, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, completing his doctoral dissertation at York University focusing on the history of European food habits and cooks’ guilds. Ryan has published his research through the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, Oxford University, as well as in various food studies scholarly journals. Ryan has also been invited to present research at various conferences and lectures held at York University, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, Western Michigan University, Brandon University, Walnut Hill College Restaurant School, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Culinaria Research Centre, and the Toronto Renaissance & Reformation Colloquium.

When he is not cooking or researching, Ryan enjoys travelling, photography, gardening, and spending time with his two pugs. 


Leonard Tardiff

Instructor, Food Processing (Animal Protein)

Leonard came to Assiniboine Community College in 2017, and taught Pork Processing at Sandy Bay First Nation for two-and-a-half years. During his time with Assiniboine College at Sandy Bay First Nation, he helped build the program from the ground up. This program did not exist in Manitoba, so Leonard was a trailblazer in developing the program and curriculum. In 2019, Leonard moved to the college's Victoria Avenue East campus, and designed and developed the highly acclaimed Food Processing (Animal Protein) Certificate Program. 

Prior to that, Leonard worked in the meat industry for numerous decades as a Meat Manager for Canada Safeway, and a meat cutter for Heritage Co-op. While at Safeway, Leonard was training meat cutters for the company to be placed in other stores. In addition to his meat-cutting experience, Leonard graduated with a diploma in Food Services/Commercial Chef. Leonard is a passionate educator, and enjoys sharing his wealth of experience with students. He notes, "I’m proud to be part of the team at such a great college." 

Leonard is involved with his local community hall where he puts on monthly suppers featuring different cultures. He is involved with the Minnedosa Rodeo Committee, and enjoys landscaping and cooking.


Jian Li Wu

Instructor, Food Processing (Animal Protein)

Jian Li Wu is an Instructor in the Food Processing (Animal Proteins) Program, at Assiniboine Community College. He has been engaged in progressive management for more than ten years, within a variety of sectors. Jian Li’s meat cutting skills were recognized in 2019 by the Canadian Professional Meat Cutter’s Association, with their national-level Award of Excellence. Jian Li attended the Meat Cutting Program at Assiniboine, graduating with honours, and later worked at Maple Leaf Foods as a Meat Cutter specializing in pork butchery and fabrication.

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming.

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.