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 Chuck@MeatIndustryHallofFame.com.

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.