I don’t need to tell you that we are living and working in unprecedented times. Business has been good, but not without its challenges. Independent processors all across the country have worked tirelessly to find ways to meet the demand of a growing customer base while trying to mitigate the risks to their staff and families.

We have seen great adaptability in finding different ways of providing a vital service to consumers, whether that on the retail side or scheduling of slaughter and processing for local farmers. Processors have been called upon to stand in the gap and meet the protein needs of consumers in their communities, and they have responded and done just that. I commend you for the great work that you and your staff have done and continue to do during this time.

As we head into summer, let’s hope we can put this pandemic behind us and build on the newfound customer base that has discovered our products to secure an even brighter future for all of our businesses. The AAMP convention is scheduled to take place July 30 - August 1 in Des Moines, Iowa, and as of now, we have a green light to continue planning and moving forward with the event. We hope to bring everyone together to celebrate our industry and the accomplishments we have seen during this trying time. I can think of no better way to put the current situation behind us then to gather and celebrate together the successes of a very busy spring.

The AAMP staff and Convention Planning Committee are working with local authorities to ensure that we can have our event and still mitigate the risk to our attendees. That DOESN'T mean you will have to wear a mask; it means we are working to put protocols in place to address the concerns of our attendees. We will have masks available for those who would like them, as well as hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility. We will also encourage people to be conscientious about how they greet and interact with each other. We still plan to host all of our events, including the ever-popular American Cured Meats Championship. We have had great support from our Supplier Members as well, and plan to have one of our largest shows to date. You won’t want to miss it.

Whether you are an AAMP member or not, we hope you will make plans to join us July 30 - August 1 in Des Moines, Iowa. IP