The American Association of Meat Processor’s annual convention will visit the land of horse racing, bourbon and bluegrass this year. The 78th American Convention of Meat Processors & Suppliers’ Exhibition will be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Ky., on July 20-22, and it will be bringing new ideas, business opportunities, product demos and award-winning cured meats with it.

AAMP logo

The annual event, which is known for its educational seminars, trade show and networking opportunities, will kick off on July 20 with a keynote address from Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan F. Quarles. Quarles served as vice-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and served on the Agriculture and Small Business Committee, the Tobacco Master Settlement Oversight Committee, and the Banking and Insurance Committee. In 2015, he was elected Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture. At 33, Commissioner Quarles is currently the youngest statewide elected official in the United States.

AAMP’s sold-out trade show will feature new machines, supplies and services for AAMP members. Attendees are encouraged to walk through the aisles for solutions to their production bottlenecks, improvements to their packages and more. The show floor will be open on July 20 from 1-4PM; July 21 from 9:30AM-12:30PM; and July 22 from 12:30-3:30PM.

There will be several seminars throughout the length of the show. The seminars, often featuring AAMP processor members themselves, provide practical tips on production or business strategies. Topics for this year include shelf life, pricing products and services, and developing business plans. There will be several hands-on demonstrations held during the AAMP Convention.  A country ham demonstration will be led by Dr. Gregg Renfrew of the University of Kentucky and some of his students. A special seminar on marketing will feature David Glier from Glier’s Meats Inc.; Louis Muench of Louie’s Finer Meats; and Mike Sloan of Hermann Wurst Haus.

The American Cured Meat Championships feature hundreds of the best cured meat products in the country. This is the place for processors to test their best bacons, hams, turkey, sausages, snack sticks and more against companies throughout the country, in a total of 28 categories. There are a couple of new twists to this year’s competition. This year’s featured class is a smoked country ham. A new addition this year is the University Class, where student teams can submit products in two student classes. This year’s classes are bacon and cured specialty meat products.

The social aspects of the AAMP show are always important, as friends can get together to catch up, and new attendees can mingle with AAMP members and staff, building up contacts and establishing relationships. The official Welcome Reception takes place on July 20 at the Round Barn — an appropriate setting for a convention in the horse capitol of the world. Tickets for this event are extra and include transportation to and from the official hotel of the Convention, the Hyatt Regency Lexington, which is adjacent to the Convention Center. The Closing Social, on July 22, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Lexington. Along with an awards presentation, the winner of the association’s annual raffle will be announced, with the winner getting a trip for two to Kansas City, Mo. for the 2018 Convention. Tickets are also required for this event.

AAMP Convention at a Glance

July 20-22
Lexington Convention Center/
Hyatt Regency Lexington

Exhibit Hours
Thursday, July 20, 2017 — 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Friday, July 21, 2017 — 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Saturday, July 22, 2017 — 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

For more information about this year’s Convention, go to To follow along with the events on social media platforms, the official hashtag is #aampky17.