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Meat Hall of Fame names keynote speaker, 2015 inductees

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WASHINGTON — Charles (Charlie) Stenholm, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives serving 13 terms, from 1979 to 2005, will be the keynote speaker at the Meat Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The Hall of Fame ceremony, honoring the seven members of the Class of 2015, will be held Nov. 2 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., just prior to the first full day of the North American Meat Institute’s Annual Meeting and Outlook Conference.

Stenholm graduated from Texas Tech University with  bachelor of science and master of science degrees in agriculture education. He was elected to the House as a Democrat in 1978, representing Texas’ 17th District. His main interests were agriculture and budget matters.

For six years, he was ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. He helped shepherd the 2002 Farm Bill through Congress and was a longtime supporter of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Since 2005, Stenholm has been a senior policy advisor with Olsson Frank Weeda, a Washington law firm that specializes in representing food, drug and agriculture interests before material federal agencies. He has served as co-chairman of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and on the boards of directors for the Concord Coalition, Business and Industry Political Action Committee, and the American Council for Capital Formation. He is also a member of the Farm Foundation Round Table and a member of the 25×25 Steering Committee.

Members of the Meat Hall of Fame Class of 2015

  • William (Bill) Buckner, president, Cargill Meat Solutions. He will retire in August following a 28-year career with the company helping lead the beef industry in dealing with its share of challenges. He has  served as corporate vice president of SA/NV, senior vice president of Cargill Limited and president of Cargill Meat Solutions. In addition, he served as a director of Teys Australia Pty. Ltd. and as director of MetaMorphix Inc. from September 2003 to October 24, 2006.
  • Jo Ann Smith, former president, National Cattlemen’s Association; former assistant secretary of agriculture. Smith became deeply involved in the beef industry as a member of the Florida Beef Council and later as an appointee to USDA’s Animal Technical Advisory Committee on Livestock and Livestock Products, the Foreign Animal Disease Advisory Committee and the Meat Pricing Task Force. She was the founding chairperson of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and served as assistant secretary of agriculture for Marketing and Inspection Services. In 1985 she was elected as the first woman president of the National Cattlemen’s Association and was credited with persuading producers to establish the Beef Checkoff, which launched a new era of marketing and promotion.
  • C.W. (Bill) McMillan, vice president for Washington Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Association; co-founder, U.S. Meat Export Federation. McMillan’s career began as a county agent near Fort Collins, Colo. Later, he joined the National Cattlemen’s Association, rising by the 1960s to vice president for Washington Affairs. In that role, he helped with the passage of the 1964 Meat Import Law by which resulted in significant trade benefits for the United States, Australia and New Zealand. He was a key player in negotiations leading to the Wholesome Meat Act in 1967, was involved in the inaugural conference of the Four-Nation Beef Group and along with then-American Meat Institute President Richard Lyng, co-founded, the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
  • Edward C. Jones, president, Jones Dairy Farm (inducted posthumously). Jones played a major role in the development of Jones Dairy Farm, a Wisconsin-based pork processing company renowned for its high quality and innovation in processed meats. During his tenure at the helm of the family-run company, Jones was responsible for strong growth and expansion of the firm’s operations. He initiated an aggressive quality-control program and instituted national advertising exposure that led to opportunities for distribution in supermarkets and retail outlets in all 50 states and even a few foreign countries.
  • James V. (Jim) Lochner, chief operating officer, Tyson Foods (retired). During his tenure, he oversaw the company’s poultry and fresh meat production operations, food processing, international divisions and renewable products. He also led several divisions that supported Tyson’s key business units, including transportation, information services, product development, and environmental, health and safety services. After a long career at IBP Inc., which was acquired in 2001 by Tyson, Lochner retired in 2014.
  • Laurence A. Bettcher, chairman and CEO, Bettcher Industries (retired). Bettcher served as president of Bettcher Industries since 1979, before retiring in 2014. Under his leadership, Bettcher developed the first mechanically powered hand-held meat trimmer in 1954. Since then, the company has introduced successive generations of trimmers sold under the Whizard and Bettcher Quantum brands, tools that are used in meat processing plants across the U.S. and in more than 50 foreign countries. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University.
  • Wolf Ludwig, founder, Wolf-tec and WTI. Wolfgang Peter Ludwig immigrated to the U.S. from West Germany in 1967 at age 23 with his wife Ursel and two young sons Ralf and Peter. He had been trained as a master sausage maker in a small Black Forest town near Baden-Baden, and he used that knowledge to launch a career in meat processing. After 10 years of learning English while working for various U.S. processors and supplier companies, he started the company that now bears his name.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner are available by contacting Chuck Jolley at 913-205-3791 or Chuck@MeatIndustryHallofFame.com. For more information about NAMI’s Annual Meeting and Conference or to register, go to www.meatinsititute.org and click on the ‘Events’ tab.

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