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Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sask Polytech retail meat students process bison for food bank

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and Saskatchewan Polytechnic turn a negative into a positive for the Prince Albert Food Bank.


November 15, 2016 – Students in the Retail Meat Specialist applied certificate program at Prince Albert Campus are processing five bison acquired by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. The bison, hunted illegally by poachers, were harvested outside the Prince Albert National Park on Thanksgiving weekend.

“The bison were part of Canada’s only remaining herd of wild, free ranging Plains bison within historic range. Approximately 200 bison remain, down from 500 in 2008,” shares Gord Vaadeland, executive director of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “The bison meat was kept in cold storage until it could be processed. We were elated to learn Saskatchewan Polytechnic students could process the meat and learn from the opportunity at the same time.”

“Processing the meat provides an excellent and unique training opportunity for our students,” shares Don Cyr, Retail Meat Specialist applied certificate instructor. “By working with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society we are able to turn a negative situation into a positive one and give back to the community. The students will be processing 1,000 lbs of bison. This will result in 6,000 – 7,000 meals for the Prince Albert Food Bank.” 

The bison meat will be processed and wrapped into portions for the Prince Albert Food Bank, who have been without red meat on their shelves for about 6 months. It is estimated that the meat provided through these actions could provide healthy protein options to clients of the Food Bank for a full year. Sask Polytech is also accepting donations of carrots, onions, celery, beans, soup, crackers and canned fruits for the Prince Albert Food Bank.

Media are invited to attend.

Event: Bison preparation photo opportunity     
Date: November 16, 2016
Time: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Prince Albert Campus
Technical Building - Cafeteria
1100 15th Street East
Prince Albert, SK

 The Retail Meat Specialist applied certificate is the first step to becoming a journeyperson meat cutter. In this 22-week program, students develop the skills to become a successful meat cutter. Areas of study include food safety, muscle and skeletal structures, as well as preparation of pork, beef, lamb and poultry. Other topics include curing and smoking meats, merchandising seafood, value-added oven-ready products and sanitation.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water, and ensuring our wilderness is managed to protect the nature within it.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 27,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student needs, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

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Retail meat students process bison for food bank

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