Happy New Year! I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Becoming the AAMP president has been a great honor, but it’s also very humbling. I’m grateful to play a small part in the long list of leaders of this great association dedicated to supporting the small processor. I view this responsibility with humility, as well as a sense of excitement and possibility.
AAMP membership provides many different kinds of benefits. There are tangible benefits you receive — like the AAMPlifier monthly newsletter and model HACCP plans/supporting documentation, which you get with your membership, as well as the resources available to you on education and training. But there are also additional and less obvious benefits that you receive from the work done on behalf of the association.
One of the most positive developments in AAMP’s evolution has been its increased voice in Washington. AAMP is widely viewed as an authoritative voice on issues affecting the meat industry. There has been a considerable amount of effort given towards Appendix A & B, our conversations with FSIS, and to the working research groups. We have also been representing members before state inspection programs, as well as local health departments. We have experienced some real victory in these areas.
Much of the credit for AAMP’s great presence in the regulatory arena goes to Executive Director Chris Young, as well as Outreach Specialist Nelson Gaydos. I thank both of them for their dedication to the important issues affecting small processors. Although regulatory representation is a large focus of AAMP, this work also serves as a means of engaging and educating our members. AAMP’s regulatory efforts not only benefit members but the entire profession of small processors as a whole. And even though advocacy may not be your primary reason for joining AAMP, it’s a way in which supports you and your businesses’ bottom-line.
Please save the date for the annual AAMP Convention, which will be held July 30 – August 1, in Des Moines, Iowa. The Convention Planning Committee has worked tirelessly to plan a great convention. You will not want to miss it! More information about the convention will be available from AAMP in the coming months.