NATIONAL MEAT ASSOCIATION h 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186 h Email Address: [email protected] h

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

March 10, 2003




Another fun-filled convention and exciting MEATXPO are behind us! Following are some of the actions from NMA’s 57th Annual Convention:


New Officers:

Immediate Past Chairman – Joe Azarro

Board Chairman – Terry Caviness

President – Ted Miller

Vice President – Curry Roberts

Secretary – Tom Campanile

Treasurer – Warren Wilcox

Executive Director – Rosemary Mucklow


The preceding officers were elected to serve for the year beginning July 1, 2003 and to serve as members of the Executive Committee by the NMA Board of Directors.



“The participants in the MEATXPO have 90 percent of what I need for my plant. At other shows, I spend a majority of my time finding the 10 percent of exhibitors who have what I’m looking for.”


-- Jim Maxey, President, Fresno Meat Co.


New Committee Chairs:

Dave Wimmer, Processed Meats

Bill Bridgford, Workplace Issues

Bob Delmore, Education

Todd Waldman, Food Safety & Regulatory

Teddie Crippen, Small Stock


New Directors:

Region 1 - Nicole Sorensen, Hill Meat Co.
Region 2 - David DeBenedetti, Del Monte Capital Meat; Phil Gee, United Meat Co.; Brian Coelho; Tim Dam, Saag's Products; and Steve Maxey, Beef Packers
Region 3 - Bob Jensen, Jensen Meats; Ron Gustafson, Coast Packing Co.; Mike Cramer, Specialty Brands; Dan Sullivan, Tengu Company; and Don Morrow, Custom Foods

Region 4 - Scott Rich, Wasatch Meats; and Steve Wess, Simplot Meat Products

Region 5 - John Southerland, Tyson Prepared Foods
Region 6 - Dave Wimmer, Wimmer's Meats; and Shawn Buchanan, All American Meats

Region 7 - John Miller, Farmland National Beef (Moultrie, GA)
Region 8 - Justin Segel, Emmpak Foods; Jeff Lovett, Lovett & Sons; and Stephen Nichol, Iowa Meat Co.
Associate/Allied - Mike Botto, American Food Equipment; Fred Baque, Cozzini, Inc.; and Mike Brown, Birko Corp.


Congratulations to all of our new officers, chairs and directors! Many thanks to our retiring chairs and directors!


Look for more on Convention outcomes in next week’s Lean Trimmings.


Copies of audio tapes of the Roundtable Seminars will soon become available. Look for more information in future editions of the newsletter.




A special thank you to all of our exhibiting suppliers for coming out strong with displays of big machinery, equipment, and services to make MEATXPO ’03 a successful, all-encompassing, focused trade show. Your support of a very lively show with lots of action on the floor is greatly appreciated!


Page 2




Retailers that participated in the 2002 Summer Grilling promotion conducted by NCBA and funded by the beef checkoff saw an increase in their fresh beef sales. According to an NCBA press release, analysis of the results shows that retail dollar sales of fresh beef in participating stores increased 2 percent during the 15-week campaign.  This increase was double that of total fresh meat sales, which grew less than 1 percent during the same time period.


 Further, as part of the program, retailers in the seven original participating markets saw incremental sales of beef grilling cuts increase by 3 million pounds and retail dollars climb by $11.9 million over the same period last year. This represents a 10 percent increase in pound sales and a 7 percent increase in dollar sales of beef grilling cuts compared to 2001.


The Summer Grilling Promotion spent $2.8 million in radio advertising, in-store merchandising, and public relations activities. Prominent radio advertising spots ran nationwide throughout the entire summer to gain significant exposure of key grilling messages in targeted markets.  Additionally, more than 6,000 retail stores utilized 3,700 floor graphics, 109,000 cart signs, 800 window posters and millions of brochures and recipes while 35 state beef councils conducted their own Summer Grilling promotions to increase beef sales within their specific region.


“As we continue our 2003 planning, we look forward to working with even more retailers to continue to strengthen beef’s position as the ‘king of the meat case!’” said Randy Irion, director of promotion services for NCBA.  Radio advertising and added value promotions will be prominent again this summer. According to Irion, the 2003 Summer Grilling Promotion will expand nationally as the NCBA teams up with partners such as A.1. and Kingsford, allowing for increased reach of overall promotion efforts.  These efforts, including freestanding inserts and in-store coupons, will reach a larger audience without the use of additional checkoff dollars.  For more information about the 2003 Summer Grilling program, call Randy Irion at 312/670-9403.




As cited by an American Lamb Board press release, and discussed at last week’s meeting of NMA’s Small Stock Committee, the American Lamb Board set a strategy for strengthening domestic lamb in the marketplace at its recent Denver, CO meeting.  It made a commitment to the industry by setting the goal of increasing the market share for American Lamb while maintaining profitability for all contributing segments of the lamb industry.  The Board will launch its promotion at the Annual Meat Conference in Atlanta March 10-12, 2003. 


Chairman Tom Kourlis stated, “The American Lamb Board is launching programs to foster an environment for profitability through the creation of a unified plan to increase demand and accommodate consumer needs.”  The Board has retained a marketing firm to implement an Easter/Passover media campaign and promotional efforts for the summer and fall of 2003.  A promotional event is also scheduled at the International Association of Culinary Professionals Annual Meeting in Montreal April 9-12, 2003.  For additional information contact Margaret Magruder, Board Secretary, at 503-728-2945.




Lean Trimmings and Herd on the Hill are offered electronically. If you’d like to receive the newsletter via e-mail, please contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533. Receive the latest news every Monday afternoon in your Inbox instead of waiting for it in the mail!


NMA reports news items that are of special interest to its readers, and provides information that they may want to be able to access.  Below are links to the Federal Register, AMS, APHIS, and FSIS, respectively:


Page 3




The Supplier of the Year Award was given to Gina Bellinger, President and founder of Food Safety Net Services, a laboratory service company, for her “professionalism of the highest caliber and respect in the industry.” The recipient of this award is selected by our General Members, firms that interact with suppliers throughout the year. The Professional of the Year Award was given to Dr. Kerri Harris. Dr. Harris is Executive Director of the International HACCP Alliance, and a professor in the Animal Science Department of Texas A&M University. Dr. Harris was commended as an excellent educator and scientist. As director of the International HACCP Alliance, she has dedicated herself to improving the industry, helping producers, packers and processors develop systems to produce safer meat products. NMA’s E. Floyd Forbes Award was bestowed upon Dr. Robert Vance. Dr. Vance teaches in the Animal Science Department at Cal Poly State University, and has been credited with inspiring many of the bright minds in our industry during his long tenure as an educator. Hemplers B.B. Meat & Sausage Co. of Bellingham, WA received the “Hold the Mustard” Award during the 2003 Sausagefest for its German Brand Smoked Sausage. All sixteen of the entries were scrumptious and fine examples of the quality products NMA members produce! Sausagefest was sponsored by Morehouse Foods of San Francisco, CA, and additional contributing suppliers for 2003 Arisean Inc., Handtmann Inc., International Casing Co., Meat & Poultry Magazine, Oversea Casing Co., Townsend Engineering, and Weber Inc.




Veal Connection Corp. v. Roy Thompson, et al commenced trial before Ffederal Ddistrict Jjudge Claudia Wilkens in Oakland, CA last Tuesday, and will be continueon-going for at least another ten days.  NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow attended the proceedings today, the fifth day of trial, before a 9-person jury.  The company is continuing to present its case. Today’s witnesses included a plant manager from the 1995-1996 time frame, and Carol Seymour, a retired senior enforcement official at FSIS, both of whom were called by the plaintiff. 


The case is unusual, in that it is a Bivens suit, seeksing damages from certain specific USDA officials.  Such a case is customarily known as a “Bivens action and should the plaintiff be successful, the defendants would be personally liable for the damages.  The plaintiffs claims arbitrary and unwarranted inspection activities during 1995 and 1996 and isare seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.  Government counsel is representing the defendant officials.


The company, Velasam, is a member of National Mmeat Association.  NMA members who would like to review more background should refer to: Herd on the Hill January 7, 2002; Lean Trimmings September 14, 1998; June 29, 12998; April 27, 1998; June 9, 1997; and December 16, 1996.


 the defenda




People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a new campaign and national tour, “Holocaust on Your Plate,” that likens farm animals to Nazi death-camp prisoners. Reportedly, the organization is using eight, 60-square-foot panels of pictures of Jewish death camp victims from the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum next to pictures of farm animals. It is not certain whether the slaughterhouse pictures being used by PETA are current or accurate.


While PETA youth outreach coordinator Matt Prescott defended the comparison between slaughterhouses and death camps, many observers found the campaign odious and nonsensical. In a March 6 Reno Gazette-Journal article Prescott said, “We’re trying to show the minds that made (the Holocaust) possible made (the slaughterhouse) possible. We’re trying to show what happens to animals on factory farms. Sometimes you have to shock people.” Shock they did. One Reno resident was dismayed that the campaign was held in a public park where children play, especially as one of the pictures displayed in the park showed naked men! PETA has bared its true nature with this campaign, exemplifying that its tactics are on the fringe of the American mainstream. “About 90 percent of the community would be shocked by [this campaign],” said Reno resident James Ridge in the Gazette-Journal. “This is gross,” he said. “Having this up there has nothing to do with animals.”


NCBA reported that when the pictures were purchased from the Museum the purchaser didn’t reveal an affiliation with PETA, or the intended use of the pictures. In fact, the Museum attempted to stop this use of the pictures through legal action. The Museum’s legal counsel demanded that PETA cease use of the pictures in a February 28 letter to PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. In its own legal response to the Museum, PETA’s legal counsel claimed the use of Museum pictures in its display fits with the Museum mission. The nationwide campaign continues irrespective of numerous complaints from Jewish leaders.


In a March 4 Arizona Republic article Prescott said, “We are using the Holocaust as a way to widen people’s circle of compassion to include animals. We are trying to deal with the mind-set that we can treat others as we please as long as we consider them inferior or ‘the other.’” In a March 4 statement, Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Fred S. Zeidman said, An organization [PETA] so concerned about inflicting pain on animals should not be so oblivious to the pain it is inflicting on humans.”     


Page 4




Thomas Blumer passed away at the age of 88 last Tuesday. He was a retired professor in the Animal and Food Science Department at North Carolina State University, and a member of AMSA. NMA extends it condolences to the Blumer family.




Roger Mandigo is the 2003 recipient of the University of Nebraska (UNL) Pound-Howard award, which will be presented to him at the University's Honors Convocation this spring.  The Louise Pound-George Howard Distinguished Career Award was established by the Academic Senate to recognize individuals with a distinguished career of service to the University of Nebraska. This award is to be conferred upon an individual who, during his or her career at UNL, has made an exceptional contribution to the University. The individual's contribution may have been made through teaching, research, public service, administration, or a combination of these factors, and should reflect a long-standing commitment to the University. Congratulations, Roger!



NMA - East: 1400 - 16th St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington D.C. 20036 Ph. (202) 667-2108

NMA - West: 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612 Ph. (510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

March 10, 2003



(Adopted by NMA Board of Directors)


WHEREAS the consumption of ground beef in the quick service restaurant industry represents a substantial percentage of total beef consumption;


WHEREAS McDonald’s Corporation has been a leader of innovation to assure that tasty and safe meat products are offered to McDonald’s customers;


WHEREAS the all-American hamburger is a highly popular and nutritious meat-protein menu choice; and


WHEREAS McDonald’s Corporation has been attacked through outrageous litigation claims asserting that lawfully marketed meat products are not wholesome and nutritious.


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT National Meat Association commends McDonald’s Corporation for its leadership in providing American consumers low-cost, nutritious meat products in a convenient and tasty form, and for instituting food safety and nutrition education practices to enhance food safety and consumer choice.




“User fees,” an issue that has a tendency to surface when it comes time to balance the budget, has crept up again.  The Bush Administration requested so-called “user fees” for meat, poultry, and egg product inspection programs in its FY 2004 budget.  The user fee coalition, which includes NMA as well as the American Meat Institute, National Pork Producers Council and others, has been actively spreading the message against the need for user fees, usually to agreeing parties on both sides of the legislative aisle. 


Unfortunately it became clear on Friday of last week that the proposal for “user fees” was under consideration by the Senate Budget Committee.  As of early Monday morning, user fees for food safety inspection were not included in the Senate Budget Committee's draft proposal, but this does not diminish the need to be attentive.  The following is a list of the members of the Senate Budget Committee.  We urge any National Meat Association member who is located in any of these Senators’ states to take the time to make a call, send an e-mail or fax a note to their Senator’s office.  If anyone needs help finding contact information, do not hesitate to e-mail Shawna Thomas at [email protected] or call the East Coast office at (202) 518-6383.


DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS: Kent Conrad (Ranking Member) of North Dakota; Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina; Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland; Patty Murray of Washington; Ron Wyden of Oregon; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Tim Johnson of South Dakota; Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia; Bill Nelson of Florida; Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and Jon Corzine of New Jersey


REPUBLICAN MEMBERS: Don Nickles (Chairman) of Oklahoma; Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico; Charles E. Grassley of Iowa; Judd Gregg of New Hampshire; Wayne Allard of Colorado; Conrad Burns of Montana; Michael Enzi of Wyoming; Jeff Sessions of Alabama; Jim Bunning of Kentucky; Mike Crapo of Idaho; John Ensign of Nevada; and John Cornyn of Texas


Page 2




On March 3, FSIS announced a regulatory sampling program to ensure that beef products derived from Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR) systems are accurately labeled.  This is outlined in FSIS Directive 7160.3, issued on December 2, 2002 ( FSISDirectives/7160.3.htm).  FSIS intends to randomly test all AMR systems producing AMR products derived from beef vertebrae at least once every three weeks.  If FSIS determines that an establishment has a relatively high risk, more sampling will likely occur. More information on AMR systems and FSIS’ new sampling program can be accessed online at NMA members contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533 for a copy of the Olsson, Frank & Weeda memo on this topic.




FSIS will host the International Meat and Poultry Food Safety Conference on March 27, 2003.  The conference is designed to share perspectives on various food safety issues, discuss strategies to improve food safety worldwide, and serve as a forum for fostering relationships to promote food safety.  The conference will be held at the Pan American Health Organization, 525 23rd Street, NW, Washington, D.C.  Additional information and registration materials can be obtained by contacting Sheila Johnson at 202-690-6498 or [email protected].  A tentative meeting agenda will be made available at:




An update of the draft Listeria risk assessment is now available on FSIS’ web site.  This version replaces the earlier version posted on February 14, 2003. It includes additional details and findings presented at the public meeting on February 26, 2003. Written comments on the draft risk assessment are due March 14, 2003.  Access the updated risk assessment at:




FSIS published a notice in the Federal Register on March 7, 2003, to announce that it is withdrawing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) entitled “Product Labeling: Defining United States Cattle and United States Fresh Beef Products,” which was published in the Federal Register on August 7, 2001. For additional information contact Robert Post at 202-205-0279. Access the docket at:




Agriculture Undersecretary Eric Bost announced the appointment of Dr. Eric Hentges as director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) late in February.  Hentges will oversee the development of nutrition guidance in the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in his new position. “Dr. Hentges brings a wealth of knowledge in nutrition education and nutrition research to USDA,” said Bost in a USDA press release.  “He is a valuable addition to the USDA team.” Dr. Hentges joined USDA on Feb. 24.


Hentges is a respected research scientist in human nutrition, and joins USDA with over 20 years of experience. Before joining USDA, he was vice president of Applied Technology and Education Services for the National Pork Board, previously served as director of Consumer Nutrition and Health Research with the National Pork Producers Council, and from 1987 to 1995, was director of Human Nutrition Research with the National Livestock and Meat Board. 


Dr. Hentges holds a doctorate degree in animal nutrition from Iowa State University, a master’s degree in growth physiology from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Oklahoma State University.