The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) will honor industry leaders at its Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon during the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia.

The luncheon, which is scheduled to take place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on January 31, 2017, at the Georgia World Congress Center, will feature Meat Institute Board of Directors, key industry leaders, representatives from packer and processor companies and award recipients and their families. NAMI packer and processor members are welcome to attend as part of their complimentary registration in the Members to Atlanta program. The Master of Ceremonies will be Damian Mason, professional speaker, entertainer, writer and business owner, specializing in entertaining and informative messages for business reinvention and agriculture audiences.

“The Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon will celebrate the enormous talent and showcase the significant contributions of Meat Institute members and industry leaders,” said NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “The event will provide a unique opportunity to honor the meat and poultry industry’s continued commitment to service, ingenuity and improvement against the backdrop of the world’s largest annual meat, poultry and feed tradeshow.”       

Greg Benedict, former chief operating officer and president at American Foods Group, will receive the E. Floyd Forbes Award in recognition of his record of accomplishments and strong commitment to the meat industry. Michael Gangel, president of Chad Company, Inc., will be honored with the Industry Advancement Award as a testament to his professional contributions in the area of food safety technology, which have had a significant and positive impact on the meat and poultry industry.

The Edward C. Jones Community Service Award will be given to John Link, founder and chairman of the board of Jack Link’s Protein Snacks, in recognition of his significant contributions to, and active participation supporting, the people and families of Minong, Wisconsin, and additional communities in the Midwest where Jack Link’s operates. Meanwhile, Jeff Sindelar, Ph.D., associate professor and extension meat specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will receive the Harry L. Rudnick Educator’s Award in recognition of his role as an educator of future industry leaders and his commitment to education, training and certification for the Wisconsin meat processing industry. 

Keith Belk, Ph.D., professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, will receive the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education Scientific Achievement Award, honoring his longstanding contributions to meat science and meat safety research, and his dedication to educating the next generation of meat industry leaders. The Supplier of the Year Award will be presented to Provisur Technologies in recognition of the company’s leadership in developing innovative, advanced equipment systems that provide meat and poultry customers with cost-effective, cutting-edge manufacturing. 

NAMI also will present the recipients of the Environmental Recognition Awards, which are given to companies that demonstrate a dedication to continuous environmental improvement, as witnessed by the development and implementation of Environmental Management Systems. In addition, the Institute will honor the winners of the Environmental Achievement Awards, which recognize member companies that go beyond environmental compliance by designing and implementing innovative plan upgrades or environmental programs.  

“The Meat Institute congratulates these exemplary individuals and companies for their impressive achievements” said Carpenter. “Their hard work and innovation will ensure that the industry continues to employ the highest standards and latest technology to produce wholesome, safe, nutritious products that exceed customer expectations.”        

The 2017 IPPE is expected to attract more than 30,000 attendees and is a collaboration of three trade shows — International Feed Expo, International Poultry Expo and International Meat Expo — representing the entire chain of protein production and processing. The event is sponsored by NAMI, the American Feed Industry Association and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. More information about IPPE, including registration details, lodging and education offerings, is available at

Source: NAMI