KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Officials from the American Association of Meat Processors recognized several members with awards July 21, including the top performer in this year’s American Cured Meat Championships. The awards were made as part of the American Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Convention. Also announced were this year’s inductees into the prestigious Cured Meats Hall of Fame.

Taking the prize for the Cured Meat Excellence Award, which recognizes the best overall performer among the entries in this year’s competition, was the Country Meat Shop, based in Moberly, Missouri.

Presentation of the Clarence Knebel Best of Show Award was also made to Mark Reynolds’ Country Meat Shop for its cured ham entry. Reynolds took home this award in 2017 as well for his innovative Round Deli Bacon product. The award dates to 1994 and was established in honor of Clarence Knebel to honor the “best of the best” from this year’s 29 classes of products entered in the annual American Cured Meat Championships.

Joe Cordray, Ph.D., from Iowa State Univ. announced the inductees into the Cured Meats Hall of Fame, which included Jake Sailer, owner of Sailer’s Food Market & Meat Processors Inc., based in Elmwood, Wisconsin. The second inductee was Gary Bardine, owner of Bardine’s Contry Smokehouse. Both inductees share a passion for their businesses and for sharing their knowledge and wisdom with others in the industry. During this year’s event, both participated in a session titled “Creating a Best of Show Product,” and provided tips and techniques they’ve used to succeed at state and national level cured meat competitions.