DES MOINES, IOWA – During the opening session of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) convention on July 14, Dwight Ely, AAMP Past President and owner of Ely Farm Products in Newtown, Pennsylvania , featured Gordon Davis, his former college mentor who he credits with lighting a fire for his mind in the meat industry.
“I took some of our cow pasture and built a little meat factory on the inspiration of this man,” Ely said of Davis.
After a heartfelt introduction, Davis entertained the morning crowd with stories about his early college days at Washington State University and Texas A&M University.
He then moved on to his work at the University of Tennessee and Texas Tech where he became a teacher and won the first of many national meat judging championships in Lubbock.
In 1990 Davis decided to go private and started CEV Multimedia, which produced multimedia textbooks.
The company, now called iCEV, has developed educational materials and certification tests in vocational and technical education (CTE), including several agricultural sectors, including meat.
Davis and his wife Joyce donated $44 million earlier this year to Texas Tech to fund the agricultural college, the largest donation in the school’s history.
Paul Kiecker, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), also spoke and summarized the agency’s position on various topics that affect small and very small meat processors. in the USA.
He discussed going back and forth over the past few years, upcoming changes to Schedules A and B, and how it worked with the AAMP on those cook and chill shifts.
“We went back and looked at that to make sure we were being as reasonable as possible and still thinking about what needs to be put in place for food safety for the consumer,” Kiecker said of the requirements. “A lot of what we finalized came from small and very small processors.”
FSIS has indicated that it wants processors to use the new guidelines by December 14, 2022.
Kiecker asked AAMP members to take advantage of grant and loan programs overseen by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Rural Development Programs.
Later in his remarks, Kiecker said that FSIS is seriously considering reducing cases of Salmonella attributed to poultry.
“We are collecting information and data to revise our control approach Salmonella through pilot projects, expanded sampling projects, and consultation with scientific experts and the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods,” Kiecker said.
Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, then welcomed participants with some remarks about Des Moines.
He also touted the AAMP-hosted bus tour that featured Iowa meat companies like Stanhope Locker & Market, Story City Locker, Dayton Meat Products, Ulrich Meat Market and In’t Veld’s Meat Market.
“In Iowa, as in many states, we are focused on how we can support our meat lockers or our small and medium-sized meat processors as they seek to grow and overcome the challenges of workforce in their operations to do even more and try to capture even more of this market opportunity,” Naig said.