Dwight Ely was elected president of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) last week during the 82nd Annual Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers' Exhibition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
He is the owner of Ely Farm Products in Newtown, Pa. A seventh-generation farmer, he has owned and operated Ely’s for more than 40 years. He attended the University of Tennessee on a wrestling scholarship. While at the university, he met his mentor, Dr. Gordon Davis of Texas A&M University, one of the nation's most prominent meat-judging coaches at the time. He switched majors to animal and meat science soon after. After graduating, he returned home to his family farm and opened his butcher shop in 1981. In 2006, he began making his own European-style, raw-milk-aged cheeses. Today, Ely’s offers a wide variety of meat products, cheeses, and services, including a large-scale deer-processing operation serving Pennsylvania and the tri-state areas.
He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Meat Processors (PAMP) and the American Association of Meat Processors since 1989. He actively helps with and attends both state and national meat association conventions, striving to gain more knowledge and expertise in the industry. He has been a tremendous promoter for PAMP and AAMP, offering to share his knowledge and help to others in the meat industry through speaking engagements and live demonstrations.
He was nominated and inducted into the AAMP Cured Meats Hall of Fame in 2015. The Cured Meats Hall of Fame award recognizes meat processors that have shown long-standing excellence in the production of cured meats. Ely Farm Products has won countless awards with its products at both the state and national cured meats shows, excelling in the production of smoked hams. In addition to their award-winning meat products, the Elys have several awards for their cheese products, winning their first accolades in the American Cheese Society competition in 2012.
Ely is married to his wife, Susan, and they have three children, Aldan, Elizabeth, and Luke. His children will be the eighth generation to run Ely Farm Products. In addition to their business, the Elys remain active in their church and local community.
Ely succeeds Rick Reams of RJ’s Meats, Hudson, Wis., who will remain on the AAMP Board of Directors as the Immediate Past President.