Tag Archives: AAMP

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.

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.

AAMP Remembers Jim Peterson

PetersonLong-time AAMP member James Larry Peterson, age 71, passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at the rehab at Good Samaritan Society-Lodi, in Lodi, WI. He was born on September 1, 1945, the son of Lawrence and Eunice (Thompson) Peterson, Fairview, Wisconsin.

Jim graduated high school in Richland Center. Jim and his wife Mary were united in marriage on March 23, 1973 in Lodi, Wisconsin. In 1964, Jim purchased the Lodi Locker Market and during the next 25 years he expanded the business and developed new products. Jim sold the Locker Market in 1989 and accepted a position in sales and technical service with Alkar-Rapid Pak Inc.

Jim was very active in the the American Association of Meat Processors, serving multiple times as a director and on several committees. AAMP honored Jim as its 4th inductee into the ‘Cured Meats Hall of Fame’ in 1997 and with its highest honor, ‘The Outstanding Service Award’, in 2006. In an excerpt from the introductory speech by Steve Krut, AAMP’s former executive director, Krut said, “Jim may be the single most honored person in the history of AAMP.” He attended nearly every national and state association convention. Jim served for decades on the board of the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors and is a member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Meat Industry Hall of Fame

Jim was known as “The Sausage King”. Jim was in the Army and active in the Lodi American Legion Post #216. He was a member of First Lutheran Church of Lodi. He was a Badger Booster, a hunter and collected antique fishing lures.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Megan (fiancé Joe); sister, Connie and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary and his mother and father. Funeral Services will be held at FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH, 206 Pleasant St., Lodi, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 29, 2017 with Pastor Mike Lee presiding. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.  Visitation will be held at the GUNDERSON LODI FUNERAL HOME, 157 S. Main St., Lodi from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2017 and again on Sunday from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church in Lodi or the Lodi American Legion Post #216. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Gunderson Lodi
Funeral & Cremation Care
157 S. Main Street

FSIS Notice on Humane Handling and Slaughter – Is it Worth the Hassle?

CowsBy Chris Young, Executive Director

This notice provides instructions to FSIS Public Health Veterinarians (PHVs), inspection program personnel (IPP) and District Veterinary Medical Specialists (DVMSs) about assessing and informing official livestock establishments whether their written systematic approach for humane handling and slaughter meets the criteria for being a robust plan or not. This notice also indicates the expected frequency for PHV and DVMS verification reviews of an existing robust systematic approach to humane handling and slaughter.
In 2004, FSIS recommended that establishments develop and implement a systematic approach for humanely handling and slaughtering livestock by effectively addressing the four aspects of a systematic approach; those are: assessment, design, evaluation and response.
The industry was told that if we developed and implemented a robust systematic approach then this would be taken into consideration along with other factors when deciding whether to issue a Notice of Suspension (NOS) or Notice of Intended Enforcement (NOIE) action. Experience tells me that this has not been the case. The over enforcement and inconsistency of enforcement of humane handling and slaughter regulations over the last few years has been an ongoing issue for processors. This issue will be at the forefront of AAMP’s efforts in Washington in 2017 once the dust settles on the transition of a new administration. The enforcement of humane handling has been all over the spectrum, and not just between districts, but also within districts. It appears that there are different sets of rules depending on where you are in the country. One district may receive an NOIE and under the same set of circumstances may receive a Notice of Suspension in another district.
If having a robust humane handling program is recommended and not a requirement, and there does not appear to be any difference in the level of enforcement between those who have and those who don’t, why would you open yourself up to the increased scrutiny of this notice? Here is what will be required of you if you choose to have a robust plan. When the establishment management wants to implement an animal-handling program it believes to be a robust systematic approach, it is to request an FSIS review. Once an establishment has a program in place, the associated plan, corrective actions and records produced will be subject to monthly verification reviews by PHVs. DVMSs are to evaluate establishments’ robust systematic approach plans during their Humane Handling Verification visits, which are performed every 12-18 months.
AAMP and its members are fully supportive of humane handling and slaughter regulations. We support having a robust plan in place to make sure we are paying attention to the details and handling animals in our facilities correctly. My opposition to it is that FSIS should get their own house in order and have a clear set of rules and a decision tree in place so that inspectors and DVM’s are responding to incidents in the same way. If a plant has a plan in place and there is a mis-stun and they follow their plan with a follow up stun, then there should be no action taken by FSIS. FSIS cannot continue to enforce from a zero tolerance point of view; that is not reality and they know that, which is why they are requiring a robust plan.
I trust all of our members will continue to do the right thing and handle the animals in their facilities to the best of their ability to ensure a safe, humane kill. A formal response will be sent to Washington explaining AAMP’s position on this and it will be followed by a visit.

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Quarles Named Keynote Speaker for AAMP Convention


Ryan F. Quarles has been selected as the keynote speaker for the 2017 AAMP Convention in Lexington, Kentucky, July 20-22. 

Ryan grew up on his family’s farm in Scott County, coming from a family that has lived in central Kentucky for over 200 years. Ryan completed three undergraduate majors and two graduate degrees in just four years at the University of Kentucky, graduating in 2006.

In 2008, Harvard University awarded Ryan a full scholarship with the Zuckerman Fellows Program, which enabled him to continue his studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Law School.

In 2009, he graduated from Harvard with a Master’s degree in higher education before moving back to Kentucky to finish his last year of law school. Ryan was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 2010, representing Scott, Owen, and Fayette counties.

Ryan served as vice-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and served on the Agriculture and Small Business Committee, the Tobacco Master Settlement Oversight Committee, and the Banking and Insurance Committee.

In 2015, Ryan was elected Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture. At 33, Commissioner Quarles is currently the youngest statewide elected official in the United States.