In 1949, small business meat processors gathered in Chicago to enter their hams in the First Annual National Ham Show. Sixty-five hams were judged in four classes. This competition started a tradition that is known today as the American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC) – the only national event of its kind in North America.


This event has expanded over the years to cover a wide variety of products including hams, bacon, jerky, and sausages. Now hundreds of products are entered in 25 – 30 classes each year. Meat processors enter their products for evaluation by judges who are meat scientists and specialists in the meat industry. This evaluation provides information for product enhancement that could result in greater sales and business opportunities.



Classes of Entries


Andouille Sausage



Country Bacon – Dry Cured

Cured Specialty Meat Products

Dried Beef

Frankfurters/Wieners (Coarse Ground)

Frankfurters/Wieners (Emulsified)

Ham – Bone-In (Heavyweight)

Ham – Boneless (Commercial)

Ham – Boneless (Traditional)

Ham – Semi-Boneless

Jerky – Restructured

Jerky – Whole Muscle

Luncheon Meat – Large Diameter

Meat Snack Stick

Ring Bologna – Cooked

Semi-Dried Sausage – Cooked,Non-Fermented

Small Diameter Smoked/Cooked Sausage

Smoked Turkey

Specialty Game Meats

Specialty Flavored Small Diameter Cooked and Smoked Sausage

Summer Sausage – Cooked

The next competition will be held in conjunction with the American Convention of Meat Processors & Suppliers’ Exhibition, in Springfield, Illinois, June 18-20, 2015.  Anyone who is a processor member of the American Association of Meat Processors, produces their own products, and is a registered attendee at the Convention, may enter the ACMC competition.


Official Sponsors of the 2014 American Cured Meat Championships – Milwaukee, Wisconsin