Doug Hankes of Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Galesburg, Illinois, was recently elected president of the American Association of Meat Processors during the 77th American Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska.
A 2nd generation meat processor, Hankes graduated in 2004 from the University of Illinois where he majored in meat and food technology. After graduation and completing several internships, he returned home to his family business where he currently serves as vice president of operations.
Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats has served the West Central Illinois area since 1978. In 2007, it became a federally inspected plant. In 2004, the business received over $4 million dollars in renovations. Slaughtering operations were shut down in April of this year to focus on creating shelf stable meat snacks, sausages, hams, and bacons. “My interest in college was shelf stable meat snacks,” said Hankes. “I helped our company head in that direction as a result.” Thrushwood Farms Quality Meat’s products have won championship awards in the Illinois Association of Meat Processors contests, the American Cured Meat Championships (ACMC), and most recently, the DFV-AAMP IFFA Quality Competition for Sausage & Ham.
Hankes is heavily involved in his local community, focusing on economic development of the Galesburg area through various organizations. He is also an active member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.
His dedication to the industry is evident through his involvement at the state and national levels. He is a past president of the Illinois Association of Meat Processors. At the national level, he has served on various AAMP committees and has presented over 12 times at past conventions.
During his presidency, Hankes hopes to continue to give members valuable information that they can take back to their plants, as well as continuing to support the association in providing new ideas and resources for the membership. “My goal is to get more of our membership to our convention,” he said. “The information you can take back from an AAMP convention is invaluable. Anyone can come to our convention and learn a ton.”
He added, “One of the biggest values of AAMP to me is the member-only section of the website. We as a company are always looking on there for new information. AAMP is there for you 24/7 whether someone is on the phone or not.”
Hankes succeeds Erica Hering, Ralph’s Packing Company, Perkins, OK, who will remain on the AAMP Board of Directors as the immediate past president. Chad Lottman, C&C Processing, Diller, NE, was elected 1st Vice President; Rick Reams, RJ’s Meats, Hudson, WI, was elected 2nd Vice President; Dwight Ely, Ely Farm Products, Newtown, PA, was elected 3rd Vice President; and Louis Muench, Louie’s Finer Meats, Cumberland, WI, was elected Treasurer.
AAMP’s elected Operator Directors are Matt Elvbakken, Tizer Meats, Helena, MT; Linn Merindorf, Merindorf Meats and More, Mason, MI; Andy Cloud, Cloud’s Meats, Inc., Carthage, MO; Bill Dayton, Dayton Meat Products, Malcom, IA; Darla Kiesel, Dewig Meats, Haubstadt, IN; Brad Turasky, Y-T Packing, Co., Springfield, IL; Matthew Bayer, Country Fresh Meats, Weston, WI; and Greg Fisher, Fisher Packing Co., Portland, IN.
AAMP’s elected Supplier Directors are Kevin Washam, Tipper Tie, Inc., Peculiar, MO; Dave Downs, Mar/Co Sales, Burnsville, MN; and Megan Leonard, Handtmann Inc., Lake Forest, IL.