Become a butcher
“You still have to have somebody that knows what they’re doing, how to do it, has the right equipment, the food safety background,” said Tolbert.
“So, what we’ve done to try to entice and maintain our employees is… we’re paying more. Historically I think we were one of the highest paid plants in the valley.
And then we also pay a production bonus.
Most of my employees are over 40. I have maybe a handful that are in their late 20’s early 30’s but generally speaking, everybody is older. It’s ageing out because those are the guys that got into it 20 years ago and never left the industry.”
Tolbert says what they’re lacking is young people coming up to replace them.
“We aren’t getting kids. even in the 4H and FFA classes, you don’t have a lot of kids that are going, Oh man, I want to be a meat cutter, or I want to go stand on my feet all day and throw 50 pounds over my shoulder for fun,” said Tolbert.