I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association (CPMCA) for awarding me with the CPMCA award for Excellence. Additionally, I would like to express my appreciation to NAIT for providing a highly sought after PMCM program. Specifically, it is the instructors who facilitate the program that deserve to be recognized, Rob, Chris. B, Tyson, Chris M and Jennifer. It is through their obvious passion and skills in the meat industry that they can pass on their knowledge and experience to the students they teach. They provide the most accurate and professional depiction when it comes to teaching and showing Students what they will expect in the Meat Industry. Without them, the PMCM program would not be nearly as successful as it is.

The PMCM program through NAIT has provided me with a real, hands-on experience when it comes to processing and merchandising beef, pork, poultry, lamb, fish, and processed items such as sausage, pepperoni, and jerky. NAIT has the unique ability to run their own butcher shop which is open to NAIT staff, students, and the public. This allowed me to experience what working in a butcher shop is really like. We were responsible for breaking down halves of pork or beef and producing retail cuts which were ultimately being displayed and sold in the store. Additionally, we were responsible for breaking down whole chicken and fish into all the retail cuts. The expectation was that we would produce retail cuts and display them in a marketable fashion so it would be appealing to the consumer.

I am employed by the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and took the unique opportunity to attend NAIT while still working over weekends when I could. With that being said, I remain employed with the EPS however I work over my days off at the North Country Market located in Whitecourt A.B. The duties align with everything that I learned from the PMCM program which involve breaking down, processing and merchandising retail cuts of beef, pork, and poultry. Making fresh sausage, jerky and value-added product and creating unique ideas that would be appealing to the consumer.

Moving forward I am hoping to remain employed with the North Country Market with the intention of sharpening my skills when it comes to meat cutting and merchandising. NAIT’s program offers a ‘foot in the door’ which provides a glimpse as to what you can expect working in the meat industry. It also provides you with the starting skills required to ‘hit the ground running’ so you can be as successful as possible. Like any skill, meat cutting requires continuous practice and upkeep to remain competent. I believe that through my employment with North Country Market, they will be able to continue my education where NAIT’s PMCM program has left off.