Vermont Institution Wants to Model Eastern’s Meat Processing, Food Safety Program
|Lynn Coale (left), superintendent and director of the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, Vt., visits with Gaylon Brannon, lab manager and instructor, about Eastern’s meat processing and food safety program. Coale would like to model Eastern's program and create a similar certificate program at the Hannaford Career Center.
The Eastern Oklahoma State College meat processing and food safety program recently captured the attention of a Vermont institution
hat would like to model its own curriculum and facilities after Eastern’s.
Lynn Coale, superintendent and director of the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, Vt., spent three days touring
Eastern’s meat processing lab, observing classes and speaking with students and instructors about the program.
Coale researched meat processing and food safety programs at institutions across the nation and chose to visit Eastern based on the
specific curriculum and techniques the college teaches.
“Our area of Vermont wants to compete in the specialty meat market. To do this right, our students need to be taught the process from
slaughter to smoke and cure. It’s about artistry and craftsmanship,” Coale said. “I’ve found only one place where that comprehensive training is taking place and that’s Eastern Oklahoma State College.”
Eastern is the only school in Oklahoma and the surrounding states that offers an associate of applied science degree in meat processing and food safety. The lab provides students with a hands-on opportunity to learn all of the aspects of the meat industry, including learning concepts, live animal evaluation, food safety certification and meat processing.
The Hannaford Career Center provides technical, workplace and continuing education opportunities for high school students in grades nine through 12 and adults. Coale hopes the center will be able to offer meat processing and food safety certificate courses that are geared toward adult students as part of its existing Sustainable Agriculture program.
Next week, Coale will present his assessment of Eastern’s curriculum and meat processing lab to the Vermont Agriculture Development Board, an advisory group to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. He said he will recommend they model their certificate program after Eastern’s.
“All of the elements of craftsmanship, ethical treatment of animals and food safety are here,” Coale said. “That is what Eastern’s program does right and that’s what I would want for our program in Middlebury.”