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2015 Premier's Award Winner
VG Meats - Simcoe, Norfolk County
Back - Minister Jeff Leal, Phread Longstreet Chad
Van Groningen, Kevin Van Groningen
For VG Meats, the best school uniform is a butcher's apron. When they couldn't find the skilled staff needed for the family's processing and retail operations, they teamed up with an Ontario grocery chain to create their own training program. Within a week, 300 applications poured into "The Chop School." Ultimately, nine students were accepted into the inaugural class for 100 hours of fully paid training. The program includes classroom sessions, plenty of hands-on practice and even time on the Van Groningen beef farm. The school proved so successful that VG Meats is now launching a second class. They have also developed a two-week "Farmer in Training" program to help retail employees understand exactly how the VG Meats' meat they sell is produced.