Become a RMM Intern and maybe a Butcher Apprentice!

By Mark Wilhelms

We at Red Meat Market are dedicated to helping bring the “Art of Butchery” back! We are committed to making our intern program the most rewarding in the industry in hopes that we can inspire you to choose the “Local meat system” as a place to start your career. Every great Master Butcher and executive Chef can tell you stories about their first big break in the industry. At Red Meat Market we’re committed to providing these opportunities to you – the talent of tomorrow. Our intern program gives you the opportunity to get your first taste of the world of the “Local Meat System”

Those that become RMM interns must go through our Meat 101 training including, learning all cuts, sustainable ranching practices, processing, sourcing, animal husbandry, Feed vrs all natural vrs organic vrs Grass fed products. Everyone is asked to be involved and help with all events, community outreach and learn how we help support local providers and the animals they raise.

We offer extensive training as well as opportunities to learn the entire “Arc of Engagement” of the local meat system. You will learn about every aspect of our business, from customer services to event management, digital marketing, social media, graphic design, photography and consumer/wholesale marketing. You’ll get hands-on knowledge of Calf/Cow operations and of course, meat processing and butchery. Many of our interns go on to join us full time after graduating, which is why we only look for the best candidates to join our program.

Recently one of our Interns, Alex Lee spent his final internship at our processing partner and slaughter facility. His story is as follows:

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ALEX LEE - Kendall College Culinary School Grad and recent RMM Intern.
I had the opportunity to spend four days at Black Earth Meats in Black Earth, Wisconsin. I would be fully emerged in the process; two days on the kill floor, two days trimming beef primals. I knew this experience was going to change me. My hope was for it to give a greater understanding and flexibility as a cook. My fear was that it may turn me vegan.

I’m happy to say the change was positive. Life is celebrated, revered, and respected. The plant is run at true pace of both human and animal. They are not treated like cogs in a machine. If it takes a few extra moments for the animals to come off the trailer calmly, that’s what it takes. Although the work is strenuous and demanding, everyone is given frequent breaks to insure their jobs can be done safely and effectively. Every time I asked someone what they did here, they would cheerfully say “everything.” People seemed to have a sense of pride and ownership in whatever role they where involved. The environment promotes learning. Someone was always willing to show me where to put my knife. Although I only barely scratched the surface into the art of butchering, I got as much as I could for those two days.
I walked away from this experience with a true appreciation of the actual value of what I have been consuming mindlessly my entire life. Doing things this ways costs more money and takes more time. It’s worth it. If that means eating meat less often and utilizing less desirable cuts, then so be it.

On my final day, I put together my own box-o-meat to bring home to Chicago. It included: 3 pig hearts, 1 gallon of pig blood, 4 pounds beef cheek meat, 1 beef tongue, 1 whole skirt steak, 5 pounds of pork trim, 5 pounds of beef fat, and five pounds of beef bones. Throughout my stay I started to see the animals as animals and not as steaks, roasts and hamburger. Eating meat should be a celebration of life; and a life is a terrible thing to waste. I wanted to utilize as much of the animal as possible as well as have a variety of flavor and texture. Some of the items in the box may seem unappetizing; but with a little finesse and care, they can transform into quite a fine meal.

Mark Wilhelms is the Founder of Red Meat Market. You can find Mark on and Twitter