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Although agriculture and meat production have been Wisconsin staples since, well, basically the beginning, Bucky's Varsity Meats — a campus-based, student-run, start-to-finish meat processing, packaging, and selling operation — is a relatively recent innovation. Located in the Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery (MSABD) Building, which houses the MSABD program, Varsity Meats opened for business in November 2020. The shop employs 10 UW students, who see the products along every step of the journey, from harvesting to packaging to selling. The students also work on the business’s branding, marketing, and customer service aspects. You may have heard of Bucky’s Butchery, which was Varsity Meats’ predecessor. The shop underwent a full rebranding and reconceptualizing (also a student-led effort) alongside the building renovation. When construction began in 2016, the groundbreaking crew traded golden shovels for something more appropriate — five hams that were ceremonially salted. (Bonus: If salted ham is right up your alley, check out these meat market tips from MSABD professor Jeff Sindelar.)

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