Lobbying Efforts, Training Seminars Highlight Benefits

The American Meat Institute completed in 2006 the first century of its illustrious history serving the meat industry. As AMI begins its second century in support of the industry, The National Provisioner celebrates what makes AMI so strong: its membership. In this month’s “Inside AMI” feature, The National Provisioner gets the perspective on AMI membership from Dennis Vignieri, president and CEO of Kenosha Beef International.
Q. The meat industry as a whole owes plenty to AMI, but are there any ways in which Kenosha Beef International’s history coincides with or lends itself to the success that AMI has had over the decades?
A. Charles Vignieri, Chairman of the Board for Kenosha Beef International, was chairman of NMA when the decision was made to merge with AMI, and he helped to facilitate the transition into today’s AMI.
Q. Of all the offerings that AMI has for processors, which programs or benefits cater more to the “mid-major” size companies similar to Kenosha Beef, as opposed to those that cater to the mega-corporations involved in AMI? Does your company take away anything different than those processors?
A. Kenosha Beef benefits from all of the lobbying efforts that take place in Washington, due to the fact that we don’t have our own lobbyist.  Also, programs such as media training and HAACP training, etc., have a significant benefit in terms of educating our employees and helping advance our business.
Q. Is there a specific example you can cite in which your company has translated AMI information or benefits to everyday operations?
A. There have been numerous situations with USDA in which AMI has helped us get through tough issues with our inspector in charge. Also, there are many takeaways from the seminars our folks have attended.
Q. What are some of the key ways in which your company is involved in AMI, and has been involved in recent years?
A. I sit on the AMI Board of Directors, as well as the Executive Committee. Phyllis Murray is the recent past chairperson for the AMI Human Resources Committee and currently serves as an HR and Safety Committee member.