Erica Hering of Ralph’s Packing Company, Perkins, Oklahoma, was elected president of the American Association of Meat Processors during the 76th American Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Exhibition in Springfield, Illinois. Hering worked her way through the AAMP board chairs, serving as the association’s first vice-president and treasurer before she took charge of her presidential duties on June 20, 2015.
Hering is a third generation processor and grew up in the industry. Her family shared their decades worth of experience and she learned the many sides of the business. Processing, delivery services, wholesale accounts and running a retail store are just a few of the skills she has picked up over the years. For decades, her family has made national award winning beef jerky, smoked sausage, barbeque, bacon and ham. Their products have won championship awards in the Oklahoma-Texas Meat Processors contest, the American Cured Meat Championships, and have been featured in several major industry magazines.
At the local level, participating in her community has always been a priority. A member of the Perkins Community Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Made in Oklahoma Coalition, a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, and a member of the Perkins-Tryon School Board are just a few of the ways she gives back to the industry and her community. Her bachelor’s degree, in business administration, from Northeastern State University, took her career to the banking industry before returning to the family business. She is a member of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Alumni Association and the Northeastern State University Alumni Association.
Hering has been very active with AAMP. She has served on numerous committees and has planned and moderated many AAMP conventions. She finds true value in interacting with members during convention and throughout the year. Discussing innovative ideas in production or practical business tips help make a processor more successful and profitable.
Hering succeeds Kevin Western, Western’s Smokehouse, Greentop, MO, who will remain on the board of directors as the immediate past president. Doug Hankes, Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Galesburg, IL, took over the office of treasurer; Louie Muench, Louie’s Finer Meats, Inc., Cumberland, WI, was elected as the first vice-president; Chad Lottman, C&C Processing, Inc., Diller, NE, was elected as second vice-president; and Dwight Ely, Ely Farm Products, Newtown, PA, was elected as third vice-president.
The newly elected operators are Andy Cloud, Cloud’s Meats, Carthage, MO; Bill Dayton, Dayton Meat Products, Malcom, IA; Darla Kiesel, Dewig Meats, Haubstadt, IN; and Brad Turasky, Y-T Packing Company, Springfield, IL. The newly elected Supplier Director is Dave Downs, Mar/Co Sales, Inc., Burnsville, MN.
Continuing on the board as operator directors are Matt Elvbakken, Tizer Meats, Helena, MT; Linn Merindorf, Merinforf Meats and More, Mason, MI; Rick Reams, RJ Fresh Meats, Hudson, WI; and John Walke, Walke Brothers Meat Processing, Claremore, OK. Continuing on the board as supplier directors are Kevin Washam, Tipper Tie, Inc., Apex, NC; and Jim Wright, VC999 Packaging systems, Kansas City, MO.