Mark your calendars for these state conventions and seminars.

Feb. 23-25: 2017 Illinois Association of Meat Processors Annual Convention and Trade Show; Marriott Bloomington-Normal, Bloomington, Ill.

The Illinois Association of Meat Processors’ Annual Convention boasts a lineup of educational seminars, hands-on processing demonstrations, 60+ booth trade show and social activities. The focus of IAMP is to bring meaningful programs for its members to the convention. Past sessions have included meat processing tips, business planning, social media, energy saving tips, panel discussions on remodeling, upcoming inspection regulations, venison processing tips, marketing tips and many more. The educational seminars usually include timely issues and are relevant for the small to mid-sized meat processing.

One of the highlights of the convention each year is the Product Show. IAMP is proud to have over 200 entries in 22 classes each year. Plaques are presented to the top three winners in each class to display in your plant. The IAMP Convention is also home to the Innovative Beef Competition sponsored by the Illinois Beef Association and the Innovative Pork Competition sponsored by the Illinois Pork Producer’s Association. The Innovative contests allow members to bring new and exciting products for evaluation. Winners of each competition receive $450 and the runner up receives $200 to be earmarked for advertising and a product launch.  IAMP also promotes the both the Innovative winners and the Product Show winners at the Illinois State Fair.


February 24-25: 2017 Ohio Association of Meat Processors Convention; Columbus Airport Marriott, Columbus, Ohio

The Ohio Association of Meat Processors is a not for profit organization founded in 1940, comprised of meat and poultry processors, retail meat markets and wholesalers from the state of Ohio and Suppliers to the meat and poultry industry from around the world. OAMP does work hard to provided benefits and representation for meat businesses in Ohio.


March 3-5: Missouri Association of Meat Processors/Quad State Convention 2017; Holiday Inn-Executive Center in Columbia, Mo.

MAMP has put together a wide-ranging set of discussion topics for this year’s event, featuring a host of knowledgable speakers. Join MAMP members Kevin Western of Western’s Smokehouse, Louis Fantasma of Paradise Locker Meats, and Mike Sloan of Hermann Wurst Haus as they tackle questions about employees. Topics will include: how to recruit and proper interviewing processes, maintaining a quality employee base while staying on budget, benefits-bonuses-compensation evaluating your area/who are you competing with for your workforce, and what is an employees “real” cost. Be prepared to learn and share your tips as well.

Roger and Tyson Wibbenmeyer will give a presentation on ways to improve your retail and create more profitable sales to in-crease your bottom line. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and discuss the many ways to maximize your retail business. Other topics to be covered during the show include deer processing, and AAMP update from Executive Director Chris Young, HACCP updates and a discussion about Missouri Department of Agriculture programs available for Missouri meat processors.

This year’s trade show, featuring more than 87 booths, will have some of the newest and “must have” items for the meat processing industry. The Dr. Don Naumann Meat Product Show will include two new classes of products: smoked pork chops and pork loin products.


March 10-11: Michigan Association of Meat Processors Convention; Crown Plaza Lansing West, Lansing, Mich.

The association supports its members and the meat industry by providing timely information exchange and opportunities to enhance productivity and technology to maintain the viability of the meat industry. Regular features of its annual convention include networking opportunities and the chance to participate in the annual Cured Meats Competition.


March 16-18: 2017 Indiana Meat Packers & Processors Association Convention; Four Points by Sheraton West Lafayette, Ind.

Kicking off with a boneless ham processing session and a plant tour of Beutler Meat Processing, the IMPPA Convention will include a flavored bratwurst workshop at Perdue University, the annual cured meats competition and a discussion on reaching customers through social media. Speakers at the convention will include Tom Katen from Cargill Foods, Louis Muench from Louie’s Finer Meats, Jenny Dewey from Chico Locker and Scott Werner from Excalibur Seasoning Co.


March 17-18: 77th Annual Minnesota Association of Meat Processors Convention; River’s Edge Convention Center & Best Western Kelly Inn, St. Cloud, Minn.

This year’s agenda includes MAMP’s Best Bratwurst Competition, seminars on financial planning, dry curing, private labeling and AAMP Best Practices. Dr. Ryan Cox of the University of Minnesota will give a whole hog carcass breakdown presentation and a tour of Manea’s Meats.


March 23: Local Meat to Local Schools: Lessons Learned from the Montana Beef to School Project; A Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar
Time: 9am PST/12pm EST; Duration: One hour

Many folks all over the nation are organizing to get local ingredients into public schools and other institutions as a way to support local farmers as well as improve the quality and healthfulness of school food. Fruits and vegetables have been the low-hanging fruit; local meat and animal products can be much more challenging to get on school menus. Not only does local meat tend to be more expensive, it may be more seasonal in nature or available in smaller quantities than boxed meat. It may also require special preparation for schools that lack cooking facilities or equipment.

The Montana Beef to School Project is a three-year collaborative project between several Montana beef producers and processors, schools and many stakeholders represented in the Montana Beef to School Coalition. Hear from one of the project leaders, Thomas Bass of Montana State University Extension along with one of the key processing partners, Jeremy Plummer of Lower Valley Processing in Kalispell, about what they learned over the three years of this project.

Some of what you will learn in this webinar shall include:

  • Discover the creative ways schools are working with producers and processors in Montana to procure local Montana beef.
  • Bring tested beef to school strategies to your own community through lessons learned from case studies across six beef to school partnerships in Montana.
  • Hear from the processor about the equipment, ordering systems, distribution, pricing, and other logistics of selling beef to schools.

All NMPAN webinars are free of charge and open to the public.


If you would like for your events to be featured in the calendar section of and an upcoming issue of Independent Processor’s Prime Cuts eNewsletter, please contact Sam Gazdziak at