OAKLAND, CA - National Meat Association's 56th Annual Convention was held in Monterey, California, February 20-23, 2002. It was rated as a huge success by attendees. In fact, with an attendance of over 400 and packed events and seminars, the NMA team pulled off one of its best conventions ever. Similarly, Attendees declared the 5th Annual American Meat Science Association's Western Science Conference, held in conjunction with NMA's Annual Convention, as one of the clearest, most concise programs yet presented.

This year's keynote speaker on Saturday, February 23, Smithfield Foods President and CEO Joseph Luter III, was outstanding. Focusing on the future of the business, he reminded the assembled that, "At the end of the day, it's the consumer who decides, not the producer." USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Elsa Murano spoke at NMA's General Session on Thursday, February 21. She described her five goals for FSIS and said she was "committed to ensuring that FSIS is the best trained and best educated agency of all." Her prepared remarks are online at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/speeches/speeches.htm.

NMA delivered the following awards: Supplier of the Year was given to Steve Tennis of Handtmann. Tennis has been a Director of the National Meat Association and is a long time supporter of the industry. The Professional of the Year went to recently retired USDA District Manager Helmut Blume for excellence in regulatory service. Phil Olsson of Olsson, Frank and Weeda was awarded NMA's E. Floyd Forbes. And Bussetto Foods took home the "Hold the Mustard" Award in a landslide during the Sausagefest 2002 for its Sopressatta Calabrese.

NMA Scholarship Foundation President Ron Gustafson delivered scholarship grants for the 2001-02 academic school year to nine students (complete list at http://www.nmaonline.org/files/pr9.12.01.htm). Previous NMA Scholarship Foundation scholarship recipients, Bob and Lynn Delmore, were on hand to assist in the presentation.

The NMA Board of Directors elected the following new officers to serve in the year beginning July 1: Immediate Past Chairman Joe Azzaro, Board Chairman Terry Caviness, President Ted Miller, Vice President Curry Roberts, Secretary Warren Wilcox, Treasurer Tom Campanile, Member at Large Marty Evanson and Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow. Wayne Keener was elected an Honorary Director. The following people were made Directors: Biff Benbow of Schenk Packing, Tom Campanile of Oberto Sausage, and John Duyn of Carlton Packing for Region 1; Medhi Shirazi of Superior Farms, John Piccetti of San Francisco Sausage, and Mike Stanaland of Goodmark Foods for Region 2; Bill Bridgford of Bridgford Foods, Todd Waldman of United Food Group, and Andy Lofquist of King Meat Packing for Region 3; Russell Cross of Future Beef and Ben Badiola of SSI Food Services for Region 4; Tim Biela of Texas American Foodservice, Jarrod Stokes of San Angelo Packing Co., and John Soules, Jr. of John Soules Foods for Region 5; Bernie Hanson of Flint Hill Foods for Region 6; Dane Bernard of Keystone/Shapiro for Region 7; and Joe Luter of Smithfield/Packerland and Jay Goldberger of GFI America for Region 8. Bob Savage of the HACCP Consulting Group and Roger Reiser of Robert Reiser & Co. were both elected Director reps for Associate Members.

National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association representing meat packers and processors, as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association, with over 600 members throughout the United States, includes membership in Canada, Australia and Mexico.

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Jeremy Russell
National Meat Association
(510) 763-1533
[email protected]

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