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Centerville High students operate meat processing company out of their school

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CENTERVILLE, La. -

Students in Centerville are getting class credit for running a meat processing company out of their high school.

Centerville High teens are processing about 450 deer per year, and demand for their work stretches past state lines.

"People depend on us when they bring their meat here. They depend on us to make what they want to where they can eat and to where they can feed their families. I'm excited because I get to know that I get to help people and to help families eat. It makes me happy," explained 11th grader Bree Boudreaux 

The students learn everything to run a meat processing plant, including taking customer orders, stuffing sausage, cutting steaks, smoking meat, bookkeeping, and more. 

"We're getting students prepared to go out into the world and process safely in a sanitary fashion. And the communication: often times, you'll have students that graduate and they enter the workforce, and they're not used to working together. You're forced to work together here. I mean, you're basically dealing with weapons, you see. And so, you have to keep nice communication open and very light, and you need to make sure you know what's going on and the organized flow here," explained Agri-science instructor Steve Nugent 

More than 40 students are enrolled in the program, and around 25 students earn an industry based certification each year, accrediting them to start a job right out of high school. 

The product has gained a reputation for being so good that hunters from as far as Houston have had their harvested deer processed at the plant.

Students from other schools also train at Centerville's Custom Meat Plant and bring that info back to their school's agriculture departments.

To find out more about the custom meat plant, click here.

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