The Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors to Host Annual Convention and Trade Show

Middleton, WI – The Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP) will host the 85th Annual WAMP Convention on April 11-14, 2024 at the Marriott Madison West-Middleton, WI. The convention hosts meat processors primarily from the state of Wisconsin, as well as industry suppliers to the meat industry.

The WAMP convention will kick off on Thursday, April 11, with a Pre-convention workshop hosted by the University of Wisconsin – Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery. This year’s workshop topic is “part 2” of the technology and automation in meat processing that occurred in 2023 with more new technology, ideas, and learning. Participants will learn from a group of experts about what types of technology exist in different facets of your operation, how these technologies can offer some level of automation, and how to successfully incorporate technology into your existing operations.

On Friday, April 12, the event continues with educational sessions on: “Addressing Process Deviations During Thermal Processing,” “WI DATCP [Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection] Updates,” “FSIS Update by Paul Kiecker,” “Increasing Thermal Processing Efficiencies,” and a panel of Virtual Plant Tours from Alaska to Wisconsin to Illinois. The Trade Show showcases more than 125 booths with goods and services for meat processing establishments on Friday afternoon.

The WI Specialty Meat Championships are held during the convention and is one of the largest meat competitions of its kind. This prestigious competition includes 34 classes of fresh and processed meats. Awards are presented for each class as well as three overall awards. New for 2024: The WAMP Convention will host the WI State Fair Meats Competition.

The convention continues Saturday, April 13, with additional time at the Trade Show and educational sessions: “Listeria and E.coli Controls,” “Cyber Attacks on Your Business” and “Is Growing Your Business Through Acquisition Right for You?”, “Labeling Dos and Don’ts,” “How to Move to State Inspection?” and “How to Move to Federal Inspection?”. The WI Specialty Meat Championships awards will be presented during the WAMP Annual Meeting on Saturday afternoon.

WAMP is offering Meat Science curriculum students to participate in the WAMP Convention (university, tech/community college, high school). Contact the WAMP office for a Student Registration form.

If you have an interest in the meat industry and attending the WAMP Convention, please see a detailed schedule and register online. A WAMP membership is required to attend the convention. Join today online.

For more information, please contact Dianne Handsaker, WAMP Executive Secretary, at 608-636-0639 or d[email protected].

“Technology & Automation Working for You-Part 2” Seminar Planned for 2024 WAMP Convention

A Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors pre-convention workshop will once again be offered and is planned to take place at the University of Wisconsin Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery building on Thursday, April 11. This workshop is a great opportunity to gain new knowledge about meat processing, honing your present skills, and networking with fellow meat processors. This year’s workshop topic is “part 2” of the technology and automation in meat processing that occurred in 2023 with more new technology, ideas, and learning. We will learn from a group of experts about what types of technology exist in different facets of your operation, how these technologies can offer some level of automation, and how to successfully incorporate technology into your existing operations. A team of academic and industry experts will discuss, highlight, and demonstrate an array of technologies that can lead to improved efficiencies while improving through out and product quality. A blend of classroom presentations (am) and hands-on demonstrations (pm) will provide and full-encompassing learning experience. As usual, plenty of opportunity and time for questions and dialogue will exist. If you are in need of improving your operational efficiencies, are looking to increase your throughput, or are interested in improving product quality and consistency….this is must must-attend workshop for you. As with past workshops, interaction is highly encouraged so this would be a great opportunity to learn from and with presenters and attendees.

Following the same format as in the past, the WAMP pre-convention workshop will be held at the University of Wisconsin MSABD building on Thursday, April 11 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm with transportation (bus) provided from the Marriot hotel. Additional educational sessions will occur at the Marriot hotel on Friday morning, April 12 and Saturday afternoon, April 13. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Jeff Sindelar ([email protected]; 608-262-0555) to discuss. All schedules are not finalized and are subject to change as necessary.

WI State Fair Competition Moves to WAMP Convention

New in 2024:  The Wisconsin State Fair Meats Competition moves to the Madison Marriott West on April 12 to coincide with the convention of the WI Association of Meat Processors.  Check out the new registration deadlines and delivery options.  This will continue to be a stand-alone contest administered by the WI State Fair (separate registration, judges, etc.)  Click here for more information and to register your products. 

Entry Info and Rules

Wisconsin Harvest & Fabrication School Announcement

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery program is happy to announce our first ever Wisconsin Harvest & Fabrication School!

The Wisconsin Harvest & Fabrication School will be held March 26-28, 2024. Details and registration available here.

This school (short course) takes a higher-level comprehensive approach to understanding animal harvest and fabrication of amenable species (e.g., beef, pork, lamb, poultry). Instructors will teach the principles, science, regulations, and food safety of animal harvest and fabrication at a basic and applied level. The information will be aimed at operators who have little to moderate amounts of animal harvest and fabrication experience. However, processors from every experience level can benefit from attending this program. Multiple harvest and fabrication demonstrations and hands-on group exercises will be held in the state-of-the-art Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery building to facilitate a stronger understanding of classroom discussions. Upon completing this short course, participants can continue their learning by enrolling in additional programs designed to provide extensive, hands-on training for beef, pork, lamb, and poultry harvest and fabrication. Enrollment in this short course is limited to 30; therefore, there will be ample opportunity for a more individualized experience throughout the demonstrations and group activities.

Topics Covered (not inclusive):

  • Humane handling programs
  • Live animal handling
  • Pre- and post- mortem inspection
  • Multi-species harvest demonstrations
  • Microbial sampling programs
  • Technology and equipment
  • Antimicrobial interventions
  • HACCP Plans and Food Safety
  • Meat Quality
  • Hands-on pork carcass fabrication activity
  • Chilling systems
  • Inspections and regulations
  • By-products and variety meats
  • Maximizing productivity and yields
  • Beef, lamb, and poultry fabrication demonstrations
  • Propper stunning methods
  • Animal Biologics
  • OSHA and Employee Safety

The registration fee for the Wisconsin Harvest and Fabrication School is $750.00 per person. The fee includes course materials & handouts, breaks & lunches, refreshments, a Wednesday evening reception, and local transportation between the DoubleTree hotel and the MSABD building. Lodging, parking, and other meals are not included.

If you have questions regarding registration or otherwise, please contact Colleen Crummy at [email protected], 608-890-0587 or Heather Hunt at [email protected].

MSABD Upcoming Events

MSABD Extension

The University of Wisconsin—Madison MSABD Extension program aims to deliver short courses and workshops that serve the short and long-term needs of stakeholders (the meat industry, youth, and consumers). Programs share science-based knowledge and information through courses designed to support the growth and viability of the meat industry on in-state, national, and international levels.

2024 Short Courses & Workshops

Meat Snacks Short Course: February 27—29

Wisconsin Harvest & Fabrication School: March 26—28

Basic HACCP Short Course: May 29—30

Food Safety & Meat Microbiology School: August 13—15

Wisconsin Meat Processing School: September 17—19

New Technologies School: October 22—25

The Master Meat Crafter Program

The Master Meat Crafter Program is a first of its kind, two-year meat industry training program offered by UW-Madison MSABD Extension. The program is designed to provide participants with a well-rounded knowledge of meat science, food safety, and meat processing principles.

Program Elements

Six 2.5-day workshops
Participants will gain a new, deeper understanding of meat science principles, technologies, and concepts through a blend of classroom presentations, manufacturing demonstrations, and product samplings

Plant Projects
In-plant research projects are required for completion of the MMC program. Projects are chosen by the candidate and approved by MMC training personnel

Mentorship Program
Every participant is expected to mentor an employee or other individual on various meat science or processing topics

Scan for more information & program registration or go to learn more online.

2024 WAMP Scholarship Application

Southwest Tech Butchery Program

Humane Handling Institute

Wisconsin Harvest & Fabrication School

2023 WI Animal & Meat Industry Coalition Conference

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