Dallas, Texas – American Meat Institute (AMI) Executive Vice President James H. Hodges, a 40-year veteran of the meat industry, today was honored with the Institute’s highest award, the Industry Advancement Award. The award was presented during the AMI Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention and Exposition in Dallas, Texas.
As AMI’s executive vice president and AMI Foundation President, Hodges oversees AMI’s food safety and inspection related regulatory activities. On behalf of the Institute’s members, he interfaces with USDA on matters related to oversight and assurance of food safety in federally inspected meat plants. In his role as Foundation president, he oversees AMIF’s research initiatives.
In Hodges’ nearly 30 years with the Institute, he has served in a variety of key positions at AMI, including senior vice president of regulatory affairs. In the mid-1990s, Hodges spearheaded AMI’s petition asking USDA to mandate HACCP. Once USDA published a rule requiring HACCP in all plants, he oversaw a nationwide effort to provide regional HACCP briefings to ensure that AMI members were ready to implement it.
His expertise on animal health and animal disease issues is widely recognized. He led the U.S. meat industry’s response to the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2003. Since that time, he has testified in public meetings and met with foreign governments in an effort to restore U.S. beef exports to 2003 levels.
He is also an expert in processed meat production and safety, and has led the Shelf Stable Meat Processors since 2000.
“Jim Hodges has been a tireless advocate for the meat industry for four decades. Countless meat companies have looked to Hodges for expertise and assistance on a wide range of technical issues,” said AMI Chairman Larry Odom, president of Odom's Tennessee Pride Sausage, who presented the award. “We are grateful for his numerous contributions and leadership and are pleased to honor him with this award.”
Hodges earned his master’s degree in meat science from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Missouri. He also serves on the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Board of Directors.