Nebraska Association of Meat Processors Completes Successful Convention

Meat processors, industry suppliers and other professionals gathered in Lincoln, NE, for the Nebraska Association of Meat Processors 85th Convention and Suppliers Exhibition.
Meat processors from across Nebraska and neighboring states, industry suppliers and other meat processing professionals gathered in Lincoln, NE, for the Nebraska Association of Meat Processors 85th Convention and Suppliers Exhibition. The convention, held March 15-16 at the Graduate Lincoln Hotel, was attended by approximately 180 people.

This year's convention featured a number of timely education sessions, including talks on humane processing and plant sanitation. There was also a field trip to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where attendees observed demonstrations on beef cutting, sausage manufacturing and jerky production, among other topics. Included in the event was a busy trade show hall, where processing industry suppliers were on hand to display and discuss innovations in processing, packaging, food safety and ingredients. One of the suppliers, UltraSource LLC, won the Butcher Block Award for the highest recruitment of new NAMP members in 2023.

One of the show's highlights was NAMP's Cured Meats Contest. This year's competition saw more than 200 products entered across 20 different categories. This Best in Show product was a bone-in ham from Elmwood Meat Plant, of Elmwood. The Traveling Sweepstakes Trophy, which goes to the processor that had the best overall performance in the contest, went to Den's Country Meats in Table Rock. Den's Country Meats also won the Taste of Nebraska, the people's choice vote, in the category of best non-traditional small-diameter sausage. The overall results (first place) for this year's Cured Meat Contest are:

(all winners are located in Nebraska unless otherwise noted)
  • Bone-In Ham: Elmwood Meat Plant, Elmwood
  • Boneless Ham: Den's Country Meats, Table Rock
  • Commercial Ham: Den's Country Meats, Table Rock
  • Bacon: Den's Country Meats, Table Rock
  • Flavored Bacon: H's Custom Cuts, Wheatland, WY
  • Dried Beef: Elmwood Meat Plant, Elmwood
  • Fermented Summer Sausage: Ord Locker, Ord
  • Summer Sausage, Non-Fermented: McLean Beef, York
  • Cooked Sausage, Small Diameter, Traditional: Faltin Meat Market, Howells
  • Cooked Sausage, Small Diameter, Non-Traditional: Den's Country Meats, Table Rock
  • Frankfurters and Hotdogs: H's Custom Cuts, Wheatland, WY
  • Cooked Sausage, Large Diameter: Den's Country Meats, Table Rock
  • Ring Bologna: Elmwood Meat Plant, Elmwood
  • Bratwurst: Gentert Packing Co., Holstein
  • Liver Products: Gentert Packing Co., Holstein
  • Jerky, Whole Muscle: McLean Beef, York
  • Jerky, Restructured: H's Custom Cuts, Wheatland, WY
  • Meat Snack Sticks: Faltin Meat Market, Howells
  • Smoked Turkey: Super Saver #17, Lincoln
  • Meat Specialties: Wahoo Locker, Wahoo
During the NAMP business meeting, the 2024-2025 Board was selected. Members include: Jesse Dorn, Heartland Provisions, President; Seth Shreve, Den's Country Meats, 1st Vice President; Jeremy Borchard, Dundy County Processors, 2nd Vice President; Jacob Emswiler, Wahoo Locker, Immediate Past President; Mary Baumert, Faltin Meat Market, Executive Secretary/Treasurer; Blake Jackson, Pickrell Locker & Smokehouse; Jaime Roush, Paraclipse; Derick Schroeder, UltraSource; Ace VanDeWalle, Ord Locker; Ryan Baumert, Faltin Meat Market; Kevin Barnhill, The Blair Meat Market; and Derick Rufenacht, ChuckWagon Meats.

We had a great turnout this year, and our cured meats contest grew to the highest number of entries we've seen in a number of years! Our Board of Directors were successful in planning a great convention, and everyone enjoyed the weekend,” said Mary Baumert, Executive Secretary of NAMP. “Thank you to everyone who came and specifically those who sponsored our event. Also, thanks goes out to UNL's Animal/Meat Science department, specifically Dr. Jordan Wicks & Dr. Gary Sullivan, for orchestrating an amazing day at UNL. We hope to see everyone next year!”

The Nebraska Association of Meat Processors, founded in 1939, represents small and very small, independent meat processors throughout the state. Each year, NAMP holds a convention where members can attend educational seminars, a trade show, take part in the Cured Meats Competition, and attend the awards banquet. The Nebraska Association of Meat Processors is associated with the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) a national trade organization.