High School Students Learn to Butcher a Pig

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY -- School leaders are focusing on technical education this month. One high school class learned a unique skill that may help the students find work after they graduate.

Students at Massanutten Technical Center learned how to butcher a pig. A local farmer visited their class to teach them all about cutting and cooking the different parts.

"Today we cut up the ribs. We're going to make sausage, bacon," said Emily Allen, a student.

Another student said he learned a lot.

"Kinda like the experimenting with food, and I think this helps a lot because you know exactly where the meat is on the animal, and since you know that I guess you can expand on that," said Jared Diehl, a student.

For another student, the day was entertaining.

"It's pretty fun. It's kinda relaxing," said Michael Cook, another student.

Debra Bontz, the students' teacher, said it's not just a fun day in the classroom. She said it's learning skills like this that will help them get jobs in the future.

"If you are skilled at doing something like that, you can make a lot of money, a career of it, lots of fine restaurants, and hotels and resorts cut their own meat," said Bontz.

Students said projects like this allow them to experience what they may want to do after they graduate.

"Definitely something in the restaurant career," said Michael.

Jared said he wants to study food science in college and he's glad he can already get experience in his career while he's in high school.

"I live really close to the Dayton Farmer's Market, and there's a butcher in the Dayton Farmer's Market and I was thinking about maybe getting a job soon there, as long as I'm old enough to go down there and work," said Jared.

Many of the students said this experience is the most fun they ever had in class. Bontz said having specialized skills will make students more competitive in the job market.

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