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American Meat Institute Honors President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle With 2014 Industry Advancement Award

Friday, January 31, 2014

Atlanta, Georgia,- American Meat Institute (AMI) President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle today received the Institute’s highest award, the Industry Advancement Award at the International Production & Processing Expo, in Atlanta, Georgia.  The award was given in honor of Boyle’s extraordinary contribution to the U.S. meat and poultry industry during his 24 years at the helm of AMI.  Boyle steps down as president and CEO January 31, 2014.

Boyle joined AMI in 1990 after heading the DC office of a California-based law firm, and after serving as administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, as a legislative assistant to former Senator Pete Wilson (R-CA), and as legal counsel to two food trade associations

Calling Boyle a “transformative leader,” AMI Chairman Greg Benedict, Chief Operating Officer and President of American Foods Group, said Boyle led the association at a critical time as the nation’s war on fat gave way to a war on pathogens following an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in the Pacific Northwest.  

“The tragic event put AMI in the spotlight and Patrick was our industry’s voice at a very difficult time.  Rather than meet the challenge with words, Patrick met it with action, reestablishing our Foundation and launching our new Food Safety Initiative.  He asked the Board to declare food safety a non-competitive issue and they agreed,” Benedict said.  “Thanks to research and education, today E. coli O157:H7 is a fraction of what is was then and the beef industry’s response and progress has been held up as a model for others to follow.”

Benedict praised Boyle for being the face of the industry at difficult times.  “Throughout the many controversies that have challenged our industry in his tenure, Patrick has looked the media in the eye and answered their questions, long before transparency and open doors were contemporary buzzwords,” he said.   He also noted that Boyle was one of the first phone calls

USDA made when the U.S. detected its first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and one of the first industry faces on TV. 

On the animal welfare front, Boyle supported initiatives in collaboration with leading animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, Ph.D., who developed industry guidelines for AMI that helped transform the way U.S. livestock are handled in meat plants.  It was under his tenure, Benedict noted, that animal welfare was deemed a non-competitive issue among AMI members. 

“Most recently, he oversaw the effort to increase transparency around slaughter with the new Glass Walls project that has been a resounding success,” Benedict commented.

He also praised Boyle’s leadership on Capitol Hill, where AMI is well regarded and where lawmakers have given thoughtful consideration to the industry’s perspective on critical issues.

“I could take the entire morning to detail Patrick’s many accomplishments that make him worthy of the Industry Advancement Award,” Benedict closed.  “We thank you for your contributions. You will be sorely missed and we congratulate you as the 2014 Industry Advancement Award Winner.”


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