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
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.
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.
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.
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.