The Board of Trustees of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame announced the seven new members who will be inducted into the Class of 2020.
Among the 2020 class are AAMP members Gary Crane of Ralph’s Packing Company, Perkins, Okla., as well as Gina and John Bellinger of Food Safety Net Services (FSNS), San Antonio, Texas. Approximately 35 industry professionals were nominated this year. The nominees are voted on by the Trustees and living Members of the Hall.
Gary Crane is the owner and president of Ralph’s Packing Company. He grew up in his father’s meat business that was founded in 1959. He worked at the plant part-time until he attended Murray State College, where he met his wife, Tess. They then left there to attend Panhandle State University, where he worked in the meat laboratory and majored in meat science with a minor in business. He graduated in 1971, earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science, and returned to work in the family business.
Crane took over the family business when his father was diagnosed with cancer in 1980. The business has significantly grown over the years and includes the Crane’s daughter, Erica, and her husband, Jason Hering, and their two grandsons. The company and its representatives are very active with the national and state meat trade associations. In 2000, Gary was inducted into AAMP’s Cured Meats Hall of Fame. He continues to volunteer his time for OTMPA and AAMP to this day and is a friend to many meat processors across the country.
Gina and John Bellinger started FSNS in 1994. FSNS laboratories offer an expansive scope of microbiological and chemistry testing services specific to food processing, consumer products, and nutraceutical industries. In addition to laboratory services, FSNS offers certification and auditing assistance to food industries across the United States and globally.
Gina Bellinger serves as the founder and president of Food Safety Net Services. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include the development of baseline and microbial mapping data in the meat industry. She is co-author of several noted publications concerning the control of pathogens in food processing operations and has been involved in the food industry for over 25 years. Her passion for customer service and quality testing has enabled Food Safety Net Services to become the leading food and consumable testing company in the nation.
John Bellinger is the CEO and chairman of the board for Food Safety Net Services and FSNS Certification & Audit. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1976 and a Master of Science degree in 1978. While completing his graduate studies, he was an instructor of animal science and coached the Texas A&M Meat Judging Team. He is also the CEO of Agri-West International, Inc., an international trading company. He has served as the chairman of the Southwest Meat Association and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. He has been on the Texas Beef Council Board of Directors, various committees of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Texas A&M Agricultural Advisory Council, Nolan Ryan Beef, and is the founder of the Houston Livestock Show Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest.
“The Hall welcomes a class representing a wide variety of disciplines and divisions of the meat and poultry industry. All inductees have a staunch record of innovation and advancement behind them, and I personally cannot wait to celebrate their accomplishments in January 2021,” said Andy Hanacek, director of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame and editor-in-chief of The National Provisioner magazine, in a press release. The Meat Industry Hall of Fame was created in 2008.
The induction of the new members will take place in January 2021 in a virtual presentation. According to the National Provisioner, “each inductee will have a video produced by the Hall celebrating his/her induction, culminating in a live webinar with select inductees on Jan. 20, 2021.”
Class of 2020 members: Gina & John Bellinger, Food Safety Net Services; John Butts, Land O’Frost/Food Safety By Design, LLC; Gary Crane, Ralph’s Packing Company; Mark Dopp, North American Meat Institute; Anthony Kotula, USDA-ARS; Jack Link, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks; and Jim Perdue, Perdue Farms.
Learn more about the Meat Industry Hall of Fame at www.meatindustryhalloffame.com.