Education, Meat Priorities at Milwaukee Convention
By Tom Wray, Associate Editor
Break out the brats!
The 68th American Convention of Meat Processors & Suppliers Exhibition will be held at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. The American Association of Meat Processors is inviting the industry to “meat” the group from July 12-14, 2007.
The exhibition and much of the activity will take place at the Midwest Airlines Center, mostly in and around Exhibit Hall A on the third floor of the facility. The host hotel for the event is the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
The educational break-out sessions will be held on Thursday, July 12, and Saturday, July 14. Topics to be discussed include merchandising, business succession plus more specialized sessions.
Mike Eickman of Eickman’s Processing Co. will talk about the processing techniques that helped his dried beef win the Clarence Knebel Best of Show Memorial Award during the 2006 show last year in San Diego.
Deer processing will be addressed by Bob Beisber of Kewaskum Frozen Foods, Al Fuecht of Brandon Meats & Sausage and Tim Haen of Haen Meat Packing Inc. Even those businesses that aren’t involved in the deer processing segment can still use the knowledge gained to improve overall processing.
For “Everything You Want to Know About Sausage,” a collection of speakers will talk about techniques and concepts to help improve business and products. No matter what kind of meat the sausage is made of, this session can help improve production skills.
Two different sessions will be available for attendees. “What Sells” will have speakers Tom Inboden of Inboden’s Meats, Rick Reams of RJ’s Meats & Groceries and Patricia Van Hemelryk of Maplewood Meats on Thursday, July 12. They will talk about how to improve meat product sales with minimal investment. The display of meat and meat products to improve sales will be a major part of the discussion.
Saturday’s merchandising session is called “Dressing Your Place & Product,” with Steve Mehmert of Mehmert Store Services as the speaker. Mehmert will talk about how to improve sales. The topics to be covered include the design process, equipment, project management, interior decorations, merchandising, retail process and technology.
It won’t all be classes and discussion sessions. Social functions during the show include the Welcoming Reception on Thursday, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Mackie Building’s Grain Exchange Room, walking distance from the Hilton. For those preferring not to walk, buses will be available. Those attending will be able to enjoy a menu of brats, potato salad, fresh fruit, pickles and potato chips. The cost to get in is $10 per person, but free for children under eight years old.
On Saturday, the Closing Banquet will be at 6 p.m. at the Hilton. The menu, featuring beef, potato, vegetables and dessert, will be prepared by AAMP members. Tickets are $60 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under.
For those arriving early, there will be a tour of some of the small meat companies that abound in Wisconsin — from a grocery that makes its own sausages, a custom slaughtering plant and full-line food packaging support in Milwaukee and surrounding towns.