The Ontario Independent Meat Processors are trying to figure out ways to head off a shortage of butchers and others with what they call “knife skills.” Butchering is a trade that still cannot be performed mechanically, and nearly three-quarters of the organization’s members who were polled cite training for butchers or meat cutters as their highest need by far. Migrant workers have mostly been filling the void, and while the association says perhaps laid-off manufacturing workers could also be part of the solution, it’s not seeing applicants with the kind of skills needed to carve up a several-hundred-pound carcass.

So what happens if there’s no butchers? I write about this subject in my Urban Cowboy column in today’s Guelph Mercury.

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