Career Opportunity

Career Opportunity

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Elliott Tolbert is the Plant Operations Manager at Northwest Premium Meats, and says people aren’t learning the trade of processing or butchering meat, like they used to.

“There’s really not, outside of the apprenticeships, there’s really not anybody out there pushing it like they used to. My mom when she was a kid learned how to cut meat in high school, right they had a little butchery,” said Tolbert.

“It is harder to find people with experience and training because there aren’t many out there.

I think this year I’m projected to add 6 to 800 head into my schedule this year, on top of what we’ve done last year, which was 30% more than the year before that.”

 They’re so busy they no longer process wild game animals for hunters.

“No, I don’t do game anymore. And I know there’s very few people in the valley that are doing game. There’s no time, no employees.”

Tolbert says they’re cutting 15 to 20 head a day here at Northwest, compared to 1,500 or more at a nearby larger plant.

There are new medium-sized plants that are coming soon to Idaho, but they would still be too big for many small producers.

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