Even in the age of the Internet, with a wealth of information at one’s fingertips, there are many good reasons to get out of the office to attend a conference or a trade show for a couple of days. There are networking and educational opportunities that can’t be gained from working in front of a computer or on a production floor. The American Association of Meat Processors’ national convention (July 19-21, 2018 in Kansas City) is a highlight of the convention season, but many of AAMP’s affiliated state associations have their own trade shows as well.

See below for a list of state conventions taking place in 2018, and start making your travel plans. Many of these events include a trade show, a cured meats competition, updates from AAMP executives and educational sessions, as well as social events. In many cases, the agenda is still being finalized, but details have been provided where possible. Visit the association websites for more information about membership and the conventions.

February 2-4: Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Chateau on the Lake, Branson.  Events include an off-site humane handling demonstration and developing a robust animal-handling plan for your business. Education sessions include discussions on refrigeration and understanding your workforce. http://mamp.co/

February 15-18: Iowa Meat Processors Association, Gateway Hotel & Conference Center, Ames. A day-long pre-conference workshop will take place at the Iowa State University Meat Lab on Feb. 16. Sessions will include tips about packaging, catering and labeling approvals. http://www.iowameatprocessors.org

February 22-24: Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Bloomington. 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. http://www.illinoismeatprocessors.com

February 22-24: Ohio Association of Meat Processors, Columbus Airport Marriott, Columbus. http://www.oamp.org

February 23-25: California Association of Meat Processors, University of California at Davis, and Hyatt Place, Davis. http://www.calmeat.com

March 9-10: Michigan Meat Association, Crowne Plaza Lansing West, Lansing. http://www.michiganmeatassociation.org

March 15-17: Minnesota Association of Meat Processors, River’s Edge Convention Center & Best Western Kelly Inn, St. Cloud. There will be a pre-convention tour and presentation at J&B Group on March 15. Educational sessions will include “Systematic Approach to Custom Processing” and “Grant Opportunities from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture." The demonstration area of the exhibit hall will feature a session on trimming, seasoning and smoking of beef flank steaks, tri-tips and briskets. http://www.mamponline.com

March 16-18: Indiana Meat Packers & Processors Association: Perdue University, West Lafayette. http://www.imppa.org/

April 5-7: Northwest Meat Processors Association, Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, Coeur d’Alene, ID. http://nwmpa.com/

April 5-7: “Hands Across the Rockies”; Joint Convention of the Wyoming and Colorado Meat Processors Associations, Buffalo, WY.  http://www.wympa.com and http://www.colorado-amp.com/

April 5-8: Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors, Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Middleton. http://www.wi-amp.com/

April 5-8: Kansas Meat Processors Association: Four Points by Sheraton, Manhattan.

April 20-21: Dakota Association of Meat Processors, South Dakota State University and Days Inn, Brookings, SD. www.sdamp.net

April 20-21: Nebraska Association of Meat Processors, Holiday Inn, Kearney, Neb. http://www.namponline.com

April 27-29: Montana Meat Processors Association, Quality Inn Motel, Butte. http://montanameatprocessors.webs.com/

May 10-13: Pennsylvania Association of Meat Processors, The Penn Stater Conference Center, State College. http://pameatprocessors.org/

June 7-10: Southeastern Meat Association, Savannah Marriot Riverfront, Savannah, GA. http://www.southeasternmeat.com

June 8-10: Oklahoma Texas Meat Processors Association, Payne County Expo Center & Best Western Plus Cimarron Hotel & Suites, Stillwater, OK. http://www.otmpa.org