FLORENCE, Texas — Down the street named Meat Market in Florence, Texas, you can probably guess what happens.
Perhaps it’s not a surprise that this road is where residents and visitors alike can find some of the finest cuts of beef. But you might be shocked to discover who is doing the cutting.
"When they see kids in here processing, it’s hard for them to believe that it’s kids that cut and package their meat," said Macey Hilton, a graduate from Florence High School.
Hilton is a success story of a career and technical education program where students start in the classroom and then head literally next door to receive a hands-on learning environment.
In Florence High School's Meat Market Program, learning is important, but safety and sanitation come first. The program was started in 1994 by Bobby Rosenbusch, who came out of retirement in 2023 when the program lost its instructor.
Rosenbusch leads the students through the entire process of packing the meat that people typically see on the shelves of grocery stores. From getting the meat from a vendor to trimming, packing and finally selling it in the school's store, the Florence High School Meat Market.
Although students in the program are taught how to be a butcher, that isn't the path for everyone. Instead, the program teaches skills that go far beyond the knife.
"The lab is just a springboard," Rosenbusch said.
"It's almost like a tool [for] students to branch out and utilize a different pathway career that they're interested in," added Melissa Rosenbusch, Bobby Rosenbusch's daughter and a teacher in the program.
Learn more about the Meat Market at Florence High School and everything that goes into the materials students are taught.