It’s official: The 21 industry legends elected in June as the Class of 2009 are now Charter Members of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.

In a formal setting at Chicago’s Union League Club, Members and guests were treated to a moving journey through meat industry history delivered by renowned broadcaster, author and keynote speaker Bill Kurtis, followed by introductions from presenters and acceptance remarks from Members.

“The ceremonies were the culmination of two years of planning, and we couldn’t be happier with the enthusiasm, the turnout and the many moving speeches Members shared with the audience,” said Dan Murphy, Executive Director. “It was amazing to be in the same room with so many successful, dynamic leaders whose passion for their profession was so evident and heartfelt,” added Chuck Jolley, President of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.

Seventeen of the 21 Members were either present or represented by a designated acceptor, and most characterized the event as one that provided well-earned recognition for a group of people who have dedicated their careers to advancing the meat and poultry industries.

“The ceremony itself was quite well-done, and the Members who were honored were very deserving of the award,” said Rosemary Mucklow, a Meat Industry Hall of Fame Charter Member and Executive Director Emeritus of the National Meat Association. “They are the ones who have always provided the leadership that is so important and so necessary.”

In one of the more emotional speeches of the evening, Leann Saunders, President of IMI Global, paid tribute to her former graduate school mentor, Dr. Gary Smith. “He was tough on all of us back then,” she said, noting that her presentations typically came back covered in red ink. “But he did it because he cared so much about preparing us to be leaders who could help advance the industry that he loves. And he never let us settle for doing anything less than our best.”

Along with the inductions, the crowd heard some breaking news: An endowed scholarship fund has been created by Intervet-Schering Plough Animal Health in honor of Meat Industry Hall of Fame Charter Member Dell Allen, Ph.D., a former Professor at Kansas State University. The scholarship will fund graduate studies in animal science at KSU, and Dr. David Hayes of Intervet said he hoped that, “Dell Allen’s dedication and service to the industry will inspire many more students to follow in his footsteps.”

Nominations for the Meat Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2010 are now open. Anyone who is a participant in the meatpacking, poultry processing, livestock production and all and related academic disciplines are eligible to submit nominations. Forms can be accessed online at All nominations must be received by March 21, 2010.

The complete list of Charter Members of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2009 is:

  • Dell Allen, Ph.D., former Professor if Animal Science at Kansas State University and Vice President of technical Services and Food Safety at Cargill Meat Solutions
  • Donald L. Houston, former administrator, Food Safety and Inspection Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (posthumous)
  • Donald Tyson, former Senior Chairman, Tyson Foods
  • Earl Olson, former Chairman and Founder, , Jennie-O Turkey Co. (posthumous)
  • Frank Perdue, former Chairman of the Board, Perdue Farms (posthumous)
  • Gary C. Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Colorado State University
  • H. Russell Cross, Ph.D., Professor, Texas A&M University
  • Jimmy Dean, Founder, Jimmy Dean Sausage Co.
  • Joseph Luter III, former Chairman and CEO, Smithfield Foods
  • Kenneth W. Monfort, former Chairman and CEO, Monfort Inc. (posthumous)
  • Lawrence Starr, former Chairman & CEO, Koch Equipment LLC (posthumous)
  • Louis “Mick” Colvin, Founder and former Executive Director, Certified Angus Beef
  • Mel Coleman, Sr., Founder, Coleman Natural Meats (posthumous)
  • Paul Engler, Founder, Cactus Feeders
  • Phillip M. Seng, President and CEO, U.S. Meat Export Federation
  • Ray Townsend, former Founder and Chairman, Townsend Engineering
  • Richard L. Knowlton, former Chairman, President and CEO, Hormel Foods
  • Richard E. Lyng, former USDA Secretary and President, American Meat Institute
  • Rosemary Mucklow, Executive Director Emeritus, National Meat Association
  • Robert Peterson, former Chairman, IBP Inc. (posthumous)
  • Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Professor, Colorado State University


Formed in 2008, the Meat Industry Hall of Fame is the permanent repository for the accomplishments of the meat, poultry and livestock industries’ leading figures and epic events. Nominations are solicited annually and are voted on by a distinguished Board of Trustees representing livestock production, meatpacking, processing, marketing and scientific research.

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