The Home of Lincoln will become the Home of Hams, Sausages and other delicious cured meats.

Every year, the annual convention from the American Association of Meat Processors brings together educational opportunities, good times and the toughest cured meats contest in the country. The 76th American Convention of Meat Processors & Suppliers’ Exhibition is heading to Springfield, Ill., this year, and will surely bring hundreds of processors, educators and suppliers to town by plane, by train or by Canyonero.

The AAMP Convention will be held July 18-20. This year’s host hotel will be the Hilton Springfield Hotel, and the convention area will be at the adjacent Prairie Capitol Convention Center. AAMP’s annual convention is geared toward operators of small and very small firms in the meat, poultry & food business. Attendees can discover tips, timesavers and other new ideass through networking, seminars and a show floor filled with the latest supplies, services and equipment. This year’s exhibitor’s hall features a sold-out show floor, so attendees should plan time to visit the floor and see how the exhibitors can boost their businesses.

The keynote speaker for this year’s convention will be Dr. Dennis Swanberg, Swanberg Christian  Ministries, Monroe, La., who will present, “Love, Laugh and Live.”

Other speakers throughout the convention will take on topics of high importance to AAMP members and other small processors. Sessions include: “Food Defense and  Emergency Planning,” “Third Party Auditing: It’s Not Just for Large Plants Anymore” and “Technology and How It Makes You Money.” Additionally, award-winning Illinois processors Rick Leiding of Leiding’s Meats & Catering, Danville, and Randy Ream of Elburn Market Inc., Elburn, will host a flavored bacon demonstration on June 19.

The American Cured Meat Championships return for another year of what is sure to be tough competition. The ACMC features top cured meat products from around the country, including hams, sausages, luncheon meat, ring bologna and more. Processors bring their best products, hoping to walk away with an award or two — or even the Clarence Knebel Best of Show Memorial award, if they have the top product. In addition to the recurring categories, this year’s Featured Class is Smoked Poultry Products.

This year’s AAMP Convention is sure to be the association’s most embiggened show yet. For more information about this year’s AAMP Convention, go to