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Louis E. Muench Installed as AAMP’s 2017-18 President

Louis Muench president 1

From left: Immediate Past President Doug Hankes and President Louie Muench. (Photo credit: Christy Gazdziak)

Louis E. Muench was elected president of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) during the 78th Annual Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Exhibition, July 22, in Lexington, Kentucky.

In a speech to attendees of the convention, Muench said it was truly an honor and privilege to be named the president of AAMP. “I will continue to work diligently to move this association in the right direction,” he said.

A third-generation meat processor, Muench is the president of Louie’s Finer Meats, located in Cumberland, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Barron County and earned an Associate’s Degree in 1974. He graduated from the Butcher’s Program at SW WI Vo-Tech in Fennimore in 1975. He then continued to attend the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Food Science and Biology.

Muench has been inducted into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame and the National Cured Meats Hall of Fame, and was a member of the inaugural class of Wisconsin Master Meat Crafters. He has served as a judge for multiple state professional association competitions, and held elected office within state and national meat industry organizations. He was inducted into AAMP’s Cured Meats Hall of Fame in 2003.

In May, the University of Wisconsin-River Fall’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences named Muench the 2017 Wisconsin Distinguished Agriculturalist. The award was established in 1970 to recognize individuals who have provided leadership, service and other contributions to the broader agricultural community.

“I could not think of a more experienced meat processor or more qualified individual to guide this association,” said Chris Young, executive director of AAMP. “Louie’s long-time service to the association and to the trade as a whole will allow him to work on the best solutions to the challenges we will face as an industry.”

Muench is heavily involved in his local community. He served as the Scoutmaster of Cumberland’s Troop 24 for 25 years, assisting 28 scouts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He is currently the president of the Cumberland Municipal Utility Commission, as well as volunteers for the Cumberland Area Friends of Scouting.

Muench is married to Barbara and has three children, Louis K., Heidi and Eric, and they currently reside in Cumberland, Wisconsin. His sons, Louis K. and Eric are also actively involved in the business. Louie’s Finer Meats has won nearly 500 awards at the state, national and international competitions for their meat products.

Muench succeeds Doug Hankes, Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Galesburg, IL, who will remain on the AAMP Board of Directors as the immediate past president. Rick Reams, RJ’s Meats, Hudson, WI, was elected 1st Vice President; Dwight Ely, Ely Farm Products, Inc., Newtown, PA, was elected 2nd Vice President; Darla Kiesel was elected 3rd Vice President; and Chad Lottman, C&C Processing Inc., Diller, NE was elected Treasurer.

AAMP’s elected Operator Directors are Andy Cloud, Cloud’s Meats Inc., Carthage, MO; William Dayton, Dayton Meat Products, Malcom, IA; Brad Turasky, Turasky Meats, Springfield, IL; Matthew Bayer, Country Fresh Meats, Weston, WI; Gregory Fisher, Fisher Packing Co., Portland, IN; Tom Eickman, Eickman’s Processing, Seward, IL; and Scott Filbrandt, Bob’s Processing, South Haven, MI.

AAMP’s elected Supplier Directors are Dave Downs, Mar/Co Sales Inc., Burnsville, MN; Megan Leonard, Handtmann Inc., Lake Forrest, IL; and Jon Frohling, ScottPec, Lyons, CO.

Ed Woods, Clarence Knebel Among Those Selected for Meat Industry Hall of Fame

Long-time AAMP member Ed Woods, owner and president of Wood’s Smoked Meats, Inc., Bowling Green, MO, was among those selected to the 2017 Meat Industry Hall of Fame class. Also selected was former AAMP member Clarence Knebel of Knebel’s Processing Plant, who passed away in December of 1993. The ‘Clarence Knebel Best of Show’ award was established at AAMP in honor of Clarence Knebel to recognize the “Best of the Best” from the award-winning products entered in the annual American Cured Meat Championships.

To be qualified for nomination to the Hall of Fame, “candidates must have contributed significant innovation, achieved notable business success or otherwise positively impacted their organization, institution or larger industry segment.” In addition, those nominees chosen for induction must have undertaken noteworthy community service or philanthropy during their careers and upon retirement.

Chris Young, executive director of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), and newly appointed member of the Hall of Fame’s Senior Board, made the initial announcement about the members of the new class during the opening ceremonies of AAMP’s annual convention in Lexington, KY, on July 20. Announcing the names of all seven, he expressed particular pride with the Hall of Fame’s recognition of the considerable contributions of smaller producers to the success of the industry.

Tickets to attend this event are available now. They are priced at $250 for an individual seat. A specially reserved table for eight which will be recognized with signage and from the speaker’s podium is $2,000. Reservations can be made by email at

The other members of the incoming class are: Jeffrey Ettinger, Chief Executive Officer (Retired), Hormel Foods; Dr. A. Dewey Bond (Deceased), Senior Vice President, American Meat Institute; Donnie Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer (Retired), Tyson Foods; John Jacobson (Deceased), Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, National Beef Packing Company; and Ralph Stayer, Chairman of the Board (Retired), Johnsonville Sausage.

Ed Woods Biography
Ed Woods Scholarship AwardEd Woods earned a degree in Food Science and Nutrition with an emphasis on meats from the University of Missouri. After graduation, he worked at Wilson Certified Foods in Kansas City. He left to go into business with his father, stipulating they would have to build a smokehouse and curing cooler to begin the production of hams and bacon. With the addition of smokehouses and more efficient equipment, the quality of the cured meats and sausages improved dramatically.

Woods started winning awards at the State Meat Processors Convention, State Fairs, the American Cured Meat Championships and the prestigious IFFA Show in Germany. In 1986, he was elected as a director for the American Association of Meat Processors where he served as 1st Vice President and Treasurer. He was AAMP’s President from 1991- 1992. He served on the Executive Board for six years and was on the Building Committee for AAMP’s new office building in Elizabethtown, Pa.

While President, Woods was instrumental in obtaining the 100,000 lb. exemption for small processors as it applied to nutritional labeling. In 1993 Ed and his wife, Regina, led an AAMP sponsored trip to the Peoples Republic of China, serving as hosts and leaders of the trip. Ed has also done consulting work for different meat related companies in the U.S. and Indonesia. In 1995 Ed, along with Morris Burger, Burgers’ Country Hams, California, Mo. volunteered for an overseas assignment with Winrock International. This organization sends agriculture volunteers to third world countries to promote production of crops, dairy and meat.

His meat products have won almost 650 awards, including 27 medals (13 gold, 8 silver, 6 bronze), and a Cup of Honour from the German Butchers’ Competition at the IFFA Show in Frankfort, Germany. He has been awarded 102 plaques from the American Cured Meat Championships at the AAMP conventions, numerous first places at the Missouri and Illinois State Fair, hundreds of awards from the Missouri & Illinois Meat Processors Associations, five ‘Best of Show’ awards and many first and second place awards from the Hermann, MO, Wurstfest.

Clarence Knebel Biography
KnebelClarence Knebel operated Knebel’s Processing in Belmont, Wis., and in 1969 was honored by the American Association of Meat Processors (then known as the National Institute of Locker and Freezer Provisioners) with its annual Achievement Award. This was and is the highest recognition bestowed by the organization for a lifetime of service to the meat industry.

Clarence was inducted into the AAMP Cured Meats Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural class in 1991 for his years of demonstrated abilities in the production of cured meats, competition success and sharing of processing skills with others in the industry. In 1994, AAMP’s Cured Meat Championships established the ‘Clarence Knebel Best of Show’ Award to honor the producer of the cured product judged as the most outstanding entry in all the grand champion award winning classes of products for that year. This is still regarded as the highest award in the AAMP cured meat competition after more than two decades.

Clarence was inducted into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame in its inaugural class in 1993. Clarence passed away in December of 1993. His dedication to the meat industry led him beyond his community and his plant and into national service for the meat industry. His activities beyond the management of the processing plant were extensive and indicative of his leadership qualities.

He served as vice-president of the State Meat Inspection Advisory Board with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. He was a registered lobbyist for the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors, of which he was extensively involved in its growth to become one of the nation’s premier state meat processor organizations. He served as a director for 30 years and as one of its presidents. He served also as a member of the American Association of Meat Processors Governmental Affairs Committee and their research committee, was a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., a former President of the American Association of Meat Processors, and a director of the National Livestock and Meat Board and the Wisconsin Livestock and Meat Council.

His outstanding service has been recognized through: Honorary Recognition from University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; a National Award from American Association of Meat Processors for outstanding leadership and meritorious service in the Locker and Freezer Provisioning Industry; the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Award for distinguished service to agriculture; the Outstanding Service and Leadership Award from Wisconsin Livestock and Breeders Association; the Lafayette County Outstanding Businessman of the Year Award and National FFA distinguished service award, State FFA Farmer Award and local FFA Chapter Awards.

AAMP Members Donate Meat Products to Lexington Food Bank

AAMP_ACMC Logo_RevisedELIZABETHTOWN, PA (July 26, 2017) – More Lexington, Kentucky families will enjoy nourishing meals this summer thanks to 740 pounds of meat donated last week to The Salvation Army Lexington by members of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP).

AAMP members donated bacons, hams, dried beef and smoked turkeys to the organization at the conclusion of the 2017 American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC), held July 20-22, in conjunction with the 78th Annual Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Exhibition. The ACMC is one of the largest cured meat competitions of its kind in North America.

AAMP coordinated efforts with Rock and Wrap it Up (RWU), a non-profit organization dedicated to arranging the recovery of leftover food from various events, to donate to the local food bank. Using RWU’s Whole Earth Calculator, the donation by the members of the AAMP translated to 617 meals and 402 pounds of CO2 not released into the atmosphere. RWU has recovered meats from the ACMC for the past five years.

Major Thomas Hinzman, area coordinator for The Salvation Army, Central Kentucky area, said, “We cannot thank the vendors enough for supplying us with such incredible food to serve the many women and children in our shelter. This meat will go a long way, as we are committed to serve three meals each day, totaling over 157,000 meals each year. Thank you for including us in your event in this special way.”

“The members of AAMP are conscious of the need in local communities to provide nutrient-rich foods – like meat products – to those struggling with hunger,” said Chris Young, AAMP executive director. “Meat is among one of the top requested food bank items. Therefore, we are proud to make a contribution to The Salvation Army of Lexington to bring servings of meat to families across the state of Kentucky this summer.

Contact: Diana Dietz
Communications Manager
PH: (877) 877-0168
FX: (717) 367-9096


The American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) is North America’s largest meat trade organization. It is the mission of AAMP to provide quality service, knowledge through education, regulatory representation, and networking opportunities for our members.

The AAMP Convention Has Gone Mobile!

78th American Convention of Meat Processor & Suppliers’ Exhibition
has gone mobile! We have created a conference app that will allow you to use your smartphone or tablet onsite to easily:

  • Access session details – and create a personal schedule
  • Rate and take notes on sessions
  • View speaker bios
  • See other attendees at the event who are using the app (and connect with them via email)
  • Access sponsor and exhibitor details
  • Receive news alerts
  • View a map of the exhibit hall layout
  • Post tweets via Twitter – #AAMPKY17

Quick Guide

Download the ConfPlus App
Using your smartphone, visit, or search ‘confplus’ at App Store or Google Play Market.

Sign in or Sign up
Once you have launched the app, you will be prompted to ‘Sign in’ or ‘Sign up’. If you already signed up last year, you can ‘Sign in’ with the same account, otherwise please select the ‘Sign up’.

Join the conference
Once you’ve logged in, you will see a list of conferences on the home page. The 78th American Convention of Meat Processor & Suppliers’ Exhibition should be near the top of the upcoming list. You can then enter to view the details and join. Whenever updates become available, you will be prompted automatically to update when you access the conference again.

7. Mobile App Graphic

2017 University Class Competition Added to ACMC

7. University StudentsAAMP is pleased to announce that the University Class competition will once again be held in conjunction with the American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC), July 20-22, 2017, in Lexington, Kentucky.

The University Class competition provides a venue to students who have an interest in processed meats to compete at the intercollegiate level. In no way is the class meant to compete with the processor member, but merely provide students an opportunity to enter into a friendly competition between schools. Besides being able to interact with processor members during convention, the main goal is for students to learn more about meat processing and the applied science involved in creating various cured meats.

The competition is open to students who have an allied membership represented in some fashion from their respective institutions. The type of product(s) that students produce will vary during subsequent years at the ACMC and follow the same rules and entry guidelines for the designated product class.

For 2017, two product classes, the Cured Specialty Meat Products class and Bacon class, will be made available for competition for the University Class. All schools wishing to enter product in these classes will comply with the guidelines set forth in the ACMC competition rules concerning the designated class.

Schools will still follow check-in procedures that processor members comply with, as well as be subject to rules and registration fees for product entries. Product entered into the University Class will be not be comingled or mixed in any way with products from processor member entries. To achieve this, University Class product entries will be checked in at a separate time from that of regular ACMC product check-in. University Class product will also have a location in a judging area away from similar product types, and the scorecards, although identical in content, will be marked accordingly to separate them from the 2017 ACMC.

For eligibility, rules and registration, please visit the ACMC tab under AAMP’s website. Students must pre-register for the competition by Monday, June 19, 2017.