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Butcher program at Florence High School is the reason for life success for one graduate

Pete Burson graduated from Florence ISD’s meat science program 13 years ago, and said he owes his professional success to it.

FLORENCE, Texas — Over a decade ago, Pete Burson graduated from the Florence ISD Meat Science program, which teaches students about the different cuts of beef, pork and lamb. 

The class also provides students with the knowledge of how to run a business.

I will say, it really helped me gain a good work ethic,” Burson said. “Due to the fact that it was a two-hour program each and every day that you didn't get paid for, but you had a lot of work to do.”

This kind of work was nothing new to Burson.

I grew up in a farm-ranch setting in a rural area," Burson said. “Very small town. So, we've had cattle my entire lifetime. And so, it was something that I understood.

Burson quickly learned from the material provided in the program. Once Burson graduated, Florence ISD connected him with a job. 

“It was a great recruiting component for H-E-B,” Burson said. “That's where they were able to find me. And 13 years later, here I am.”

After graduating from the program and getting a job within H-E-B, Burson eventually decided to go to college and get a meat science degree with a minor in business.

It really helped me to understand more of the commercial corporate piece of the supplier side,” Burson said.

Burson grew quickly within the company – he started as a butcher and eventually transitioned into store management. Now, Burson is a summer retail food safety manager for the company and travels between different locations to work.

It was something that I didn't know I was interested in until I was a part of," Burson said. “So, going through that program and looking back on it 13 years later, I think it's important to really line out that the fact that I went through that [and it's] the reason that I'm working for H-E-B ... [I] built a great career off of that.”

Burson is thankful for all the success that this program brought him because without it, his life would’ve turned out very differently.

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