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Spotlight   | Summer 2012

Butcher shop serves up
hands-on experience for students

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The Boilermaker Butcher Block has been selling locally grown meat products to Purdue University students, faculty and community residents for more than 30 years, but it also provides hands-on experience for meat science students.

The only university-owned meat shop in Indiana, the butcher shop operates from Smith Hall, in the heart of the Purdue campus. The shop offers more than 75 products, including cuts of beef, pork, chicken, lamb and goat, as well as Purdue Ag Alumni Swiss cheese. The shop sells nearly 10,000 pounds of meat each month, including to campus restaurants and dining halls.

customer at butcher block counter
Food science major Katie Veenhuizen, who graduated earlier this year, is among the many students who have learned meat-processing skills during student employment at Purdue's Boilermaker Butcher Block. At the retail counter, she shows some butterfly-cut pork chops to local resident Jerry Shull. (Photo credit: Mark Simons)

Students do much of the work in the retail store and meat lab, where the meat is packaged. Butcher Block profits not only fund programs, the experience also helps students grasp the concepts they're taught in class.

"Most of our meat comes from animals grown here on our animal sciences farms," said Jolena Waddell, Butcher Block director and program director for the Department of Animal Sciences meat sciences program. "This allows our students to learn not only how to raise an animal, but then learn how to process it and turn it into food. Students learn how to produce wholesome, high-quality food for the public and acquire skills for future jobs."

The Indiana Board of Animal Health inspects all meat before sale.

By Jessica Merzdorf and Steve Leer

 

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