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From the editors of MEAT+POULTRY, this weekly Podcast is your online portal to hear from experts in the industry about the latest news, trends, technologies and people in the world of meat and poultry processing.
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Supply chain challenges continue

MEAT+POULTRY PodcastDec 03, 2021

California meat snack company remains bold and innovative

California meat snack company remains bold and innovative

Mark Bianchetti, president of the People’s Choice Beef Jerky has seen the California-based business and the area around it change throughout his life.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ fashion district, People’s Choice has been a player in the specialty meat snacks industry for nearly a century.

Continually expanding its presence, not only on the west coast but beyond, the company continues to work on growth and change in the snack space.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Bianchetti shares his journey in leading the business, alongside his son Brian, and daughter, Sara, as he prepares to pass the torch to the next generation to take the family operation into the future.

With a commitment to honoring its roots, People’s Choice is also unafraid to explore new flavors and ideas suggested by its customers.

An example of that innovative approach is the development of a new product, Jerky Crisps, which creatively combines a chip-like product in a thin piece of meat.

Jun 23, 202326:19
Chomps bites into the meat snack space

Chomps bites into the meat snack space

Over the last few years, Chomps has grown into a steady player in the meat snack space.

One of the critical components of the brand’s success is the attention to detail in operations and finding the right partners to produce a quality product.

For this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, we talk with Rashid Ali, co-chief executive officer and Zach Meyer, senior director of operations.

During this discussion, Ali describes what it’s been like to watch Chomps grow and succeed with his co-founder Pete Maldonado.

Meyer and Ali examine how the company determines the necessary elements to build new meat snacks and maintain the original ones.

Rashid discusses how this e-commerce first company also picked the proper retail locations to grow its consumer base and create a new sales channel for Chomps.

Jun 02, 202336:16
Greater Omaha president explains future investments
May 19, 202332:00
Big Poppa Smokers strikes a chord with BBQ community
May 05, 202328:38
Bacon business lessons learned

Bacon business lessons learned

In early 2022, MEAT+POULTRY published a story about three entrepreneurs who seized the opportunity to capitalize on America’s love for bacon.

Elisa Lewis, her husband Camilo Velasquez and the couple’s friend and business partner, Dana Young, had a great run as co-owners of The Baconer, an Emeryville, Calif.-based premium bacon company.

After its founding in 2016, the entrepreneurs saw exponential growth, thanks to the development of a high-quality product line, partnerships with key retailers and a brand-building campaign that garnered the company exposure on multiple mainstream media platforms. And then, just when The Baconer was about to go to the next level in 2022, an unforeseen perfect storm of challenges, including global inflation, supply-chain interruptions and overall volatility in the marketplace, forced the team to make the very difficult decision of closing down the company.

In this week’s MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Velasquez and Lewis recount the eventful journey of their business, which started as more of a dinner club and social event when the couple lived on the East Coast. The co-founders gave details of how the team built the brand of The Baconer, shedding light on what business strategies worked well and detailing some of the challenges along the way, including how the team decided it was time to pull the plug.

Looking back, Lewis said she wished they would have had the opportunity to learn from other start-up operators about how to avoid common pitfalls and how to make the most of opportunities as their bootstrapped company flourished. When discussing their experience, they admit there were some things they would have done differently but also acknowledged the many successes along the way.

The retrospective journey of Velasquez, Lewis and Young provides a rare opportunity for operators of other food companies to learn from the experience of The Baconer’s stakeholders and apply some of those lessons to their business strategy.  

Apr 25, 202353:11
Hermann Wurst Haus adding second location

Hermann Wurst Haus adding second location

Mike Sloan, owner of Fulton and Herman Wurst Haus wants to give people hands-on experiences in the meat industry.

He continues to develop sausage-making classes at his Hermann location and a new location in Fulton, Mo.

That’s one of the reasons Sloan was the subject of this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast.


Sloan describes what it’s been like taking on a second location and why he felt like it was the right time. During the interview, he discusses how he will bring on an established ⁠meat processor in Fulton⁠.


Next, Sloan explains how Hermann Wurst Haus works with the rest of the local wine tourism in Hermann and how his meat business fits into that. 


Later, Mike explains how he builds an in-store experience that catches the eye of the customer that steps into the Wurst Haus so they will stick around and learn more about meat in Missouri.


Sloan and the rest of the team also received 21 awards at the annual Hermann Wurstfest Competition at the ⁠end of March⁠


Apr 07, 202329:22
Grass Fed Foods CEO discusses growth of beef product

Grass Fed Foods CEO discusses growth of beef product

MEAT+POULTRYcaught up with Jeff Tripician, chief executive officer of Grass Fed Foods while attending the Annual Meat Conference held in Dallas, Texas, in March.

The newly formed company was featured in the January issue of MEAT+POULTRY magazine.

During this discussion, Tripician describes the first few months of Grass Fed Foods and how the company has responded to the growing grass-fed market.

He shared some new programs Grass Fed Foods plans to roll out, including Teton Taste Buds and a foodservice partnership with Rastelli Foods Group.

Tripician discusses some early successes and what it’s been like building out both brands under Grass Fed Foods: Teton Waters Ranch and SunFed Ranch.

In closing, Tripician gives his thoughts on the conference along with what he saw as big takeaways from presentations like the 2023 Power of Meat.

Mar 17, 202324:04
Bord Bia starts US campaign for Irish beef, lamb

Bord Bia starts US campaign for Irish beef, lamb

The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, recently kicked off its new campaign to bring more European beef and lamb into the United States.

As promotional events and campaigns recently began in New York City, MEAT+POULTRY caught up with Henry Horkan, Bord Bia’s director of North America.

Horkan shares the history of Irish cattle and how it’s grown into an important industry for Ireland.

He then details the significance of the American market in this push to give consumers an international option.

Horkan also explains the timeline for a three-year campaign and how it will help Bord Bia with its marketing to the United States.

Horkan then discusses his career with Bord Bia and what other markets the organization plans to work with around the world as it grows.

Five years ago, MEAT+POULTRY managing editor Erica Shaffer traveled to Ireland and detailed the grass-fed beef production, national traceability and sustainability programs in the country.

Mar 01, 202322:15
Wholesome Foods’ investment in the future

Wholesome Foods’ investment in the future

Earlier in 2022, Wholesome Foods Inc., in Shenandoah County, Va., was among the small to medium meat distributors who announced expansions to their slaughter facility and capacity.

After hearing the news of the $1.2 million investment to upgrade operations, MEAT+POULTRY reached out to Wholesome for some insights on the new venture.

For this podcast episode, MEAT+POULTRY talked about the expanded company portfolio with Wes Pence, president of Wholesome Foods.

Pence describes what it took to partner with the county through Virginia’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) program to get support for expanding meat processing in their community.

Throughout the podcast, Pence also touches on how the business works as a full-scale food distributor but also provides energy, transportation and logistics for people in the area.

Read more about the Wholesome Foods expansion here.

Feb 17, 202317:52
Chop Local gives small producers big opportunities

Chop Local gives small producers big opportunities

An Iowa-based startup is providing a different outlet for farmers and producers in Iowa and the rest of the country.

Chop Local strives to be the online marketplace to connect small businesses with customers providing high quality meat.

This episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast focuses on the Iowa-based company’s business strategy from the point of view of Mark Putney, director of business development.

Putney explains the benefits of the platform for producers and how it can be a year-round outlet for them to sell their meat.

He describes working with customers and farmers to ensure Chop Local to provide meat to consumers who value locally produced products.

Putney lays out the 2023 strategy for Chop Local and how it hopes to grow around its headquarters in Iowa and other states and businesses with USDA inspection.

He also explains what Chop Local hopes to accomplish in 2023 and its plans for growing the platform across rural communities in the United States.

Feb 03, 202336:57
Counting down to IPPE
Jan 20, 202316:26
Seattle Fish Co. CEO discusses Lombardi Brothers Meats acquisition

Seattle Fish Co. CEO discusses Lombardi Brothers Meats acquisition

After decades of being in the business of providing seafood to Denver and the Rocky Mountains, Seattle Fish Co. recently took on a new project to broaden its meat portfolio.

In November 2022, the company acquired specialty meat producer Lombardi Brothers Meats. Lombardi also operates a retail meat shop called The Ranch which started in 2020.

For this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Derek Figueroa, chief executive officer of Seattle Fish Co., dives into a discussion about the acquisition and what it means for the two companies going forward.

Figueroa then shares about how important it is to keep local connections for Lombardi and Seattle Fish even when they try to expand products nationally.

Later on, Figueroa discusses how being in Denver is crucial to growing the brand of Seattle Fish and Lombardi.

Seattle Fish Co. is a third-generation family-owned company based in Colorado, making fresh seafood available to the Rocky Mountain area. Armanda Agra, which is part of the venture capital group Founders, has locations in Reno Nev., Carson City, Nev., and Seattle.

Jan 06, 202333:07
Farmer Focus prepares for 2023
Dec 09, 202225:31
Volpi Foods CEO commemorates 120 years in business

Volpi Foods CEO commemorates 120 years in business

Volpi Foods is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2022.

This specialty meat processor is a longtime staple of the Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, but it has grown immensely in the last few decades.

The company operates five production facilities to manufacture its Italian cured meats using time, experience and technology.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Lorenza Pasetti, the third-generation chief executive officer of Volpi, shared how the company continues to stick to its roots while also embracing new technology in its four processing plants that address packaging waste, management and food safety.

Pasetti went through the history of Volpi and how she feels like a steward for this generation of the business. She also explains the advantages of being in the middle of the country when the business has grown into national distribution.

Later in the conversation, Pasetti paints a picture of its original retail store that dates back to the early 1900s.

For more details on the Volpi business, check out the 2019 MEAT+POULTRY profile of Pasetti and the specialty meat operation.

Nov 11, 202222:13
Cattaneo Bros. thrives in meat snack era

Cattaneo Bros. thrives in meat snack era

Cattaneo Bros., in San Luis Obispo, Calif., continues to push forward as a small business as it celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2022.

The meat processor is a lean operation specializing in jerky, beef sticks, and handmade European-style sausages.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRYpodcast, Katelyn Kaney, chief executive officer of Cattaneo, shared some of her thoughts on the meat snack business and how the family-owned company has established itself as a brand.

Kaney reflects on taking over the operation at a young age and how she’s continued to grow it during the last 15 years.

Kaney also describes the role athletic activities played in her life and how that helped connect to a new market of customers.

Along with the production facility, Cattaneo Bros. also operates a retail location called The Mercantile, near the plant.

She also discusses the company’s strategy for expanding  retail stores, mainly around the West Coast.

The podcast finishes with Katelyn explaining the online strategy for Cattaneo and how it expects to grow in the future.

Oct 28, 202228:05
USMEF celebrates Japanese export market

USMEF celebrates Japanese export market

In September, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) sent a delegation to Tokyo, Japan, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the inaugural USMEF office opened in the city in 1977.

Japan remains crucial to the US export market, and the association felt like it was an appropriate time to celebrate the long-standing relationship.

So, for this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, we talked with Dan Halstrom, president and chief executive officer for USMEF on what this mission meant for his group and their Japanese counterparts.

Near the beginning of the episode, Halstrom looked back at the historical perspective of working with Japan and what it meant to the growth of USMEF.

Later, Halstrom explained some of the activities US representatives could participate in that showcased American red meat and provided an overview of factors impacting demand for red meat in Japan.

He also shared what it meant to have delegates from various sectors of the US agriculture industry up and down the red meat supply chain.

Near the end, Dan gives some general thoughts on what the export market looks like for 2022.

Oct 14, 202222:60
Arkansas professors detail the role of beef in the state

Arkansas professors detail the role of beef in the state

Although poultry is the dominant protein industry Arkansas, beef is a vital part of the state’s agricultural economy.

That’s why professors and researchers at the University of Arkansas are promoting initiatives that can impact farmers and producers of beef.

For this episode of the MEAT+POULTRYpodcast, Kelly Vierck, assistant professor of animal science, and Derico Setyabrata, assistant professor of meat science and muscle biology, discussed what their efforts to develop the beef industry in Fayetteville.

Vierck described some basics about the University of Arkansas’ relationship with the Arkansas Beef Council and how it hopes to help add more small beef processors in the future.

After going over the college’s approach to research, Setyabrata discussed his project, where he will use meat microbiomes to predict beef quality and shelf life.

Vierck’s also discussed her latest project, experimenting with factors that affect palatability improvements and eating experiences with beef.

Sep 30, 202237:25
Sanderson Farms talks about mentoring programs

Sanderson Farms talks about mentoring programs

Sanderson Farms, now a part of Wayne-Sanderson Farms, continues to tout its employee investment as the main reason the poultry processor remains successful.

One of the ways the company believes it’s been effective is by implementing formal mentoring programs in recent years.

Romika Wells, director of organization development and training at Sanderson Farms, is one of the key people behind executing this strategy for executives and others. She discussed the program in this week’s MEAT+POULTRY Podcast.

Wells discusses how the mentoring program helps with retention throughout the company. She also explained how the program changed during COVID-19 and how she hopes some of it will move back in person.

Later, Wells referenced a pilot hourly mentoring program that expands the development of employees to more areas of the company. She also reflects on how the program has helped her professional development at Sanderson.

Sep 16, 202215:56
True Story Foods CEO banks on organic meats

True Story Foods CEO banks on organic meats

True Story Foods in Northern California is all about taking their experience in the meat industry and applying it to the next generation of small American family farms.

Phil Gatto, co-founder and chief executive officer of True Story, recently joined the MEAT+POULTRY podcast to share some of his company's history, including his family’s background and how they broke into the organic meat industry.

Gatto discussed some of True Story Foods products and how it competes in the organic meat segment.

Gatto detailed how the company sources products that meet the organic standards. He also talked about one of his business partners, Russ Kremer, who oversees True Story’s heritage breed program in Missouri.

Gatto explained how maintaining relationships with customers and suppliers are keys to his company’s success.

Sep 02, 202223:07
Meat Processor Academy benefits niche companies

Meat Processor Academy benefits niche companies

Smaller meat processors are always looking for essential resources to improve their practices to provide a quality product to their community.

That’s where the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) comes into play.

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, director of the program, recently launched the Meat Processor Academy. This is a self-paced course designed to provide content on topics related to business, finances and operational aspects of meat processing to smaller businesses.

During this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Thistlethwaite explains what NMPAN’s Meat Processor Academy offers processing companies.

Thistlethwaite briefly discusses the AAMP convention and how partnering with that association helps spread its message about the program.

Later on, Thistlethwaite details how the Meat Processor Academy benefits small meat processors ready to expand their output.

Finally, Thistlethwaite explains how she got involved with the association, including her background in agriculture.

Aug 19, 202223:53
NC State Professor looks at the year in HPAI

NC State Professor looks at the year in HPAI

With highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases coming down in the last few months in the United States, it was important to take an overall look at what happened with the virus at the beginning of 2022.

The HPAI discussion for this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast was with Matthew Koci, a professor in NC State University’s Prestage Department of Poultry Science who studies virology and immunology.

Koci details the impact wild birds had on many of the HPAI cases this year and how different states handled outbreaks.

He also examines the difficulties of figuring out where the virus was within the country and what went into coordinating responses between the US Department of Agriculture and the local state animal health officials.

Koci lays out some historical touch points for HPAI and how it helps deal with all diseases in the poultry industry.

Later, Koci considers what North Carolina State does to try to help with HPAI and he discusses his background in infectious diseases.

Aug 05, 202223:56
Lance Zimmerman joins Rabo AgriFinance team

Lance Zimmerman joins Rabo AgriFinance team

Lance Zimmerman, the senior beef analyst at Rabo AgriFinance, wants to share his experience studying the cattle industry with the entire beef supply chain.

During the conversation for the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Zimmerman describes why the move to Rabo AgriFinance was the right one for his career. Previously, Zimmerman worked for nearly 12 years at CattleFax as a market analyst.

Zimmerman starts off discussing his background of being a Kansas rancher and how it helps him during his analysis daily.

Next, he dives into some topics that are affecting the cattle industry including supply chain issues, identifying consumer demands and the drought conditions in the Midwest.

Zimmerman also talks about what feed costs could look like for the rest of 2022 and how well the United States is trading with other countries in cattle.

Finally, Zimmerman returns to why he enjoys this job and what he hopes to bring to the table in the future at Rabobank.

Jul 22, 202230:41
Western’s Smokehouse making moves in meat snacks
Jul 08, 202217:45
Challenges and opportunities in the meat distribution sector

Challenges and opportunities in the meat distribution sector

As summer heats up, commercial meat buyers are figuring out their inventory while filling orders for customers.

With ongoing supply chain difficulties, labor shortages and various other factors along with inflation, people like Kevin Lindgren, the director of merchandising at the Bronx, NY-based Baldor Specialty Foods, are navigating the world of meat on a day-to-day basis.

For this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Lindgren detailed how meat distributors and buyers are handling market forces when procuring products for customers.

Lindgren described what Baldor has done to deal with the volatility in the market and how it’s become part of the job since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

He also explained some of the differences in his job working in the summer compared to the frantic pace of the holiday season.

Finally, Lindgren discussed his background with Baldor and what he enjoys about working in this sector of the food world.

Jun 24, 202218:54
Starting up a beef cooperative

Starting up a beef cooperative

In June, the South Carolina Beef Marketing Cooperative was formed thanks to help from various agricultural entities across the state.

Small beef producers continue to look for solutions to have their products processed closer to home, which is what the co-op plans to accomplish in the next few years.

For this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Gwen McPhail, treasurer of the cooperative and owner of Black Diamond Sheep and Cattle in Seneca, SC, explains the reason for starting the cooperative and what economic factors led to its formation.

McPhail shares her vision for cattlemen and women in South Carolina, including having a South Carolina branded product and possibly another processing plant that is centrally located.

McPhail also describes her role in South Carolina beef and how others are raising animals in the state.

Later, McPhail explains what it means to pool resources from around the state to find solutions for rural farmers.

Jun 10, 202218:11
Jeff Tripician details his new role as CEO of Teton Waters Ranch

Jeff Tripician details his new role as CEO of Teton Waters Ranch

After his tenure at Niman Ranch, Jeff Tripician is on to his next challenge in the meat business.

Tripician recently assumed the role of chief executive officer of Teton Waters Ranch based in Denver, Colo.

During this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Tripician explained what motivates him about the opportunity at Teton and how it compares to other steps in his meat industry career. 

Tripician assessed how Teton Waters Ranch’s offerings compare to other meat products in the category and how the company plans to grow its brand in 2022.

He also discussed the history and trend of natural grass-fed-and-finished meats and how it’s become more prominent in the meat industry. 

Finally, Tripician described some of the goals he hoped to achieve early on in his tenure with Teton Waters Ranch. 

May 27, 202230:17
USPOULTRY looks at Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

USPOULTRY looks at Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

Paul Bredwell, executive vice president of regulatory programs for USPOULTRY focuses on the needs of poultry industry members and providing guidance on what could be the next regulations from state or federal officials.

The association is currently looking at the remand of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and how it affects a variety of poultry operations around the country.

The EPCRA requires reporting of releases of hazardous substances that meet or exceed reportable quantities within a 24-hour period. The purpose of the notification is for federal, state, tribal, and local officials to evaluate the need for an emergency response to mitigate the effects of a release to the community.

For this podcast, Paul examines the EPCRA and how it falls into similar categories of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Bredwell describes how companies, state agencies and federal regulators work when it comes to these emergency planning issues.

USPOULTRY is also monitoring the issue of responding to emergencies and non-emergencies at poultry operations.

Lastly, Bredwell discusses his work with USPOULTRY over the last 15 years and how he researches various rules and regulations.

May 13, 202218:10
Superior Farms CEO touts Sheep Discovery Center

Superior Farms CEO touts Sheep Discovery Center

Superior Farms, a leading lamb production and processing operation based in Sacramento, Calif., continues to look for new and inventive ways to transform its product and stay ahead in its segment of the meat industry.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Rick Stott, chief executive officer of Superior Farms, detailed the company’s new Sheep Discovery Center. The facility is a partnership with sheep producers from six different states and is located in Nephi, Utah.

Stott explains why this production facility was built in this location and how it will enhance the company’s lamb production.

Stott shares how the center fits into the sheep supply chain and how it finds future sustainable solutions for lamb. He also discusses some of the technologies that will be used to enhance sheep production year-round.

Listen as Rick Stott provides the background and future of this latest investment by Superior Farms.

Apr 29, 202225:55
AAMP’s new outreach specialist provides fresh perspective

AAMP’s new outreach specialist provides fresh perspective

Since joining the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), new outreach specialist Abbey Davidson has hit the ground running with her enthusiasm and experience in the meat industry.

During this episode the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Davidson talked about getting acclimated during her first few months at AAMP and how she’s worked to build relationships with members.

Davidson explained how AAMP is continuing to grow its outreach efforts with two outreach specialists now working with members across the country, providing information and resources to help them succeed and grow their businesses. Davidson also discussed how AAMP continues to provide information for longstanding members while recruiting new members.

During her time in this new role, Davidson described what she’s learned on the job and how she will continue to pick up information on the industry. 

Davidson also highlighted what is coming up at AAMP’s annual convention, July 14-16 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Apr 15, 202220:57
Pasture-raised poultry farming

Pasture-raised poultry farming

As someone who is hands-on with regenerative agriculture in South Carolina, Jeff Siewicki of Vital Mission Farms is anxious to share his experiences on a small farm in the low country.

In the last few years, Siewicki has learned how to adapt to the land with his poultry farm and, at the same time, continue to build up his name as a sustainable farmer in the Charleston area.

During this week’s MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Siewicki describes how he started with pasteurized poultry and how he maintains the poultry he raises now.

Siewicki later explains his options for processing his turkey and duck products in his area as he primarily services regional restaurants and customers.

Later, Siewicki describes how he needed to find different ways to sell his product during the COVID-19 pandemic after the restaurant business changed in Charleston, where he sold a majority of his poultry.

Another topic tackled during the discussion was Siewicki’s online course, where he teaches others how to scale a small poultry farm.

Apr 01, 202237:02
Mulay’s Sausage expands its family-owned brand
Mar 18, 202227:09
Plant Tours shares readiness for any meat plant

Plant Tours shares readiness for any meat plant

After working through pivots and changes over the last two years, Plant Tours is ready to accommodate all on-site business again.

The company, which supplies tour guide headphones for manufacturing facilities, agricultural sites, and distribution centers, explained its place in the meat processing industry during the latest MEAT+POULTRY podcast.

Rick Farrell, president of Plant Tours, described how the company has grown since 2005 and what it had to do since COVID-19 started adjusting its practices.

He discussed how the company accommodates clients in the meat processing industry and how Plant Tours helps display their facilities.

Later, Farrell explained his tenure at Plant Tours and what he’s learned about doing this work.

More information about Plant Tours is available here.

Mar 04, 202225:24
How Stryve Foods is stepping up to the nutrition supplement space

How Stryve Foods is stepping up to the nutrition supplement space

KANSAS CITY, MO. – In August 2021, Plano, Texas-based Stryve Foods launched a line of premium supplements called Stryve Nutrition. Supplements may seem like a departure for a company known for its better-for-you portfolio of air-dried meat snacks, but for Stryve, the meat snacks are a natural progression to provide health-conscious consumers with high-quality supplements and snacks from a trusted brand.

The new products include collagen protein powder, bone broth protein, pre-workout mixes and gummies – functional foods loaded with protein but without the stuff consumers say they don’t want such as GMOs, sugar, gluten, soy and dairy.

Health and wellness always have been top-of-mind for consumers, but that focus only intensified during the last two years as the coronavirus pandemic held the world in its grip. But even as restrictions and mandates begin to loosen, consumer demand for healthy, better-for-you foods is here to stay and expected to grow alongside consumers’ desire for personalization and convenience.

Stryve’s “better” brand evolution focuses on healthy eating and snacking, to support consumers’ growing focus on maintaining immune health and preventive measures against lifestyle and age-related ailments.

The company is positioning the new collagen and bone broths as a complement to the portfolio of meat snacks that got Stryve noticed in 2017, when former National Football League player Gabe Carimi, Dymatize founder Ted Casey and Pro-Supps founder Joe Oblas launched the company. At the time, the brand started with snack bites, meat sticks and a little-known meat snack called biltong – an air-dried, cured and sliced beef protein snack with origins in South Africa. Biltong was ideal for American consumers wanting to increase their intake of lean protein with little to no carbohydrates, sugar, nitrates or other additives.

Stryve entered the snacking scene at a time when the trend of consumers substituting snacks for main meals began to catch fire. Driven by a desire for convenience without sacrificing taste or nutritional value, consumers turned to meat snacks of all types and varying proteins.

Stryve embarked on a growth streak that netted the company millions of dollars in funding which enabled its expansion through acquisitions. By 2021, Stryve had captured 85% market share of the air-dried meat business in the United States and established distribution agreements that added more than 4,000 additional retail locations to carry the company’s Stryve, Kalahari and Vacadillos meat snack brands.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Joe Oblas, co-chief executive officer and one of the original founders of Stryve, traces the company’s journey from primarily meat snack manufacturing to a purveyor of premium nutrition supplements, the company’s expectations for success and how Stryve will become the go-to brand for better nutrition and taste.

Feb 18, 202234:34
Ambassador Meats skates to its Minnesota origins

Ambassador Meats skates to its Minnesota origins

Ambassador Meats found a new place to showcase its Minnesota roots.

The sausage and hot dog brand, which falls under the Land O’ Frost Inc. umbrella, recently became one of the main sponsors of the US Pond Hockey Championships held in late January in Minneapolis, Minn.

For this MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Clint Yonkers, associate brand manager, discusses why the company chose this event to promote Ambassador.

Yonkers explained Ambassador Meats’ product line as well as the basic information on distribution in the Upper Midwest.

The Lansing, III. facility where Ambassador products are processed is a 150,000-square-foot plant that employs 285 people. The facility produces about 140,000 lbs per month.

Yonkers also chronicled his career, from working in R&D and product formulation and most recently moving to brand management.

Feb 04, 202215:52
Future of cultivated meat

Future of cultivated meat

Cultured or cell-based meat continues to make progress toward entering the marketplace. With the rise of this meat alternative, the infrastructure that’s needed to bring the product to more people in the United States and around the world is also developing.

That’s where Matrix Meats comes in. The Columbus, Ohio-based company, operated by co-founder and chief executive officer Eric Jenkusky, develops nanofiber scaffolding for growing cell-cultured meat items.

Jenkusky describes his background in the military and in the defense contracting field and how Matrix Meats became part of his portfolio.

He also discusses the application for his product and what he expects to see in the growing meat alternative space.

Jenkusky then shares some of his thoughts on regulations on cultured meats and where the product will be in the next few years.

Jan 21, 202223:51
Northpoint Logistics navigates the global supply chain challenges

Northpoint Logistics navigates the global supply chain challenges

As 2022 begins, logistics and supply chain challenges remain in place throughout the United States and the world.

Whether it’s the scenes at ports or the lack of truck drivers out on the highways, companies are looking for solutions to this ongoing issue.

One place that continues to provide flexibility and insights for the meat industry is Northpoint Logistics, a Kansas City area company that focus on the supply chain.

For this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Clint Rusch, president of Northpoint Logistics, and Kaitlin Rusbarsky, the managing director of international operations discuss their roles in logistics.

During the discussion, Rusch and Rusbarsky explain the logistics and transports it provides to the meat industry. They also present how their company interacts with the meat supply chain worldwide.

Next, they discuss complex problems faced in logistics management and how they try to solve them daily.

Later in the conversation, Rusch and Rusbarsky talk about their career paths that led them to find a place in the logistics world.

Jan 07, 202244:58
Temple Grandin’s perspective on the evolution of animal welfare

Temple Grandin’s perspective on the evolution of animal welfare

When the focus of a special report for the meat and poultry processing industry is the evolution of animal welfare over the past century, which was the topic of MEAT+POULTRY’s December issue cover story, the primary source could only be Temple Grandin, PhD, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and an expert on animal behavior and humane livestock handling. Grandin has dedicated the last half century to improving the treatment of animals raised to supply the world’s meat and poultry processing industry with the raw material needed to produce their products.

In this week’s MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, we sat down with Grandin and discussed how the treatment of animals has been a topic of discussion in society dating back to biblical times. She discussed how references in the Bible and even the Quran provided guidelines for humane treatment of animals. She also talked about how one early and significant tipping point that established the groundwork for the future of animal welfare was when neuroscientists confirmed that mammals had the capacity to experience human-like emotions, including fear.

Grandin talked about how legislation in the 1950s began to address the issue, but meaningful changes in livestock handling in the United States came about decades later. She discussed a career path that saw her play the leading role in developing the animal welfare guidelines and auditing system that was first adopted by McDonald’s and later by all fast-food chains. She also discussed how the responsibility for animal welfare has since been embraced by the industry, from farm to fork resulting in dramatic changes in the mindset and practices of animal handlers in the food supply chain.

Christmas Music by Alex_MakeMusic from Pixabay

Dec 17, 202122:11
AgNext, Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, takes a complete approach to sustainability
Dec 10, 202139:02
Supply chain challenges continue

Supply chain challenges continue

Supply chain troubles are going to continue throughout the meat industry and the world heading into 2022. This reality has stakeholders throughout the agriculture supply chain grappling with contingency plans.

So how will processors and producers deal with this?

On this week’s episode of the MEAT+POULTRYpodcast, Cortney Cowley, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, explains why the shortages and chokepoints are happening in not only the meat industry but across the economy.

Cowley discusses existing challenges for agriculture industry import and export markets. She also shares stories from her career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and what she’s heard from bankers that could impact the meat industry.

Dec 03, 202133:27
Best Of: Putting together Costco’s personal supply

Best Of: Putting together Costco’s personal supply

*This podcast was originally published on July 30

On this week’s MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, our Operations Executive of the Year, Walt Shafer, discusses some of the details of his latest success as chief operations officer at Costco owned Lincoln Premium Poultry in Fremont, Neb., Costco’s exclusive and fully integrated chicken supplier.

Shafer begins with his preference to be on the floor of the facility as a plant manager and moves through his ownership of a chicken farm in Virginia and how that experience helped him impart confidence to Nebraska farmers who had never grown chickens.

Shafer also talks about the first employee he hired, Jessica Kolterman, and the ways her expertise played a crucial role in navigating the politics necessary for the needed approvals on the Lincoln Premium project.

Finally, we get a glimpse of the early vision of Lincoln Premium Poultry and how a partnership with Marel allowed that vision to come to fruition.

Nov 24, 202117:15
Prepping for Thanksgiving 2021

Prepping for Thanksgiving 2021

The price tag of Thanksgiving will be up in 2021.

Recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics said that food prices at home are up 5.4% over the past 12 months.

With inflation still a concern for Americans, putting that turkey on the table next week will not look the same as it has in recent years.

Producers and processors were already dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the year, but fighting through this inflation is another challenge around the November holiday.

On this week’s MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Beth Breeding, vice president of communications and marketing for the National Turkey Federation, discusses turkey production trends.

Breeding describes how turkey farmers and producers tried to navigate the amount of turkey consumers were consuming during this COVID year and whether this is just a blip or the new normal.

She also explains what the turkey industry faced during COVID-19 and how it’s adapted over 2020 and 2021.

Nov 19, 202113:34
Main Street Meats — Chattanooga’s neighborhood butcher shop

Main Street Meats — Chattanooga’s neighborhood butcher shop

Chef Erik Niel says Main Street Meats began as a kernel of an idea that already existed. He and his wife Amanda Niel own and operate the butcher shop in addition to Easy Bistro & Bar, both in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The award-winning chef’s culinary career spans 25 years. Although he attended the University of Texas at Austin to study psychology with a minor in business, food has always been his passion. He attended Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Vail, Colo. In 2005, after working in professional kitchens he and Amanda – both in their 20s – opened Easy Bistro & Bar in downtown Chattanooga.

In 2014, the Niels took over Main Street Meats. Erik says, tongue firmly in cheek, that at age 35 he needed a new challenge that would push him out of his comfort zone. But he also believed in the business.

“This was the one great chance for Chattanooga to have a local butcher,” he said. But how could he and his team of artisan butchers use old-school techniques to successfully run a combination contemporary butcher shop and restaurant to become Chattanooga’s neighborhood butcher shop?

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Chef Erik Niel explains how he and the Main Street Meats team did just that, and why whole-animal butchery is key to the shop’s current success and its future as a fixture in more neighborhoods across the southeast.

Nov 12, 202136:41
Miso Robotics automates the foodservice fry station

Miso Robotics automates the foodservice fry station

Flippy, the burger-turning robotic arm developed by Miso Robotics, now has the capability to conquer the fry station and the flat-top grill. The Pasadena, Calif.-based startup that designs and builds automated solutions for the foodservice industry announced upgrades to its flagship product, Flippy, and the launch of a new product line called Flippy Wings.

Flippy 2 is the company’s next-generation product that is faster and more customizable than the original Flippy robotic arm. Among other enhancements, Flippy 2 features the AutoBin system for foods like onion rings or chicken tenders. Using artificial intelligence, the system identifies the food, picks it up, cooks it in the correct fry basket and places the food in the correct holding area.

Flippy Wings includes the AutoBin system and is currently installed at the Inspire Brands Innovation Center in Atlanta, Ga. Inspire Brands is the parent company of Buffalo Wild Wings. Miso says Flippy Wings eventually will be installed at a standalone Buffalo Wild Wings location in 2022.

In May, we spoke with Buck Jordan, co-founder, president and chairman of Miso Robotics about the potential for robotics to improve operating and working conditions in commercial kitchens. In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Mike Bell, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics, gives more details about Flippy 2, Flippy wings, the company’s pilot projects with Inspire Brands and the financial support that allows the company to keep the innovations coming.

Nov 05, 202120:51
Duroc pig push from National Swine Registry

Duroc pig push from National Swine Registry

The duroc pigs are a key part of pork history in America. Looking around the industry now, many people might think of just white or pink pigs on farms but the red duroc is still holding strong in the US.

That’s why Clay Zwilling, CEO of the National Swine Registry (NSR), is working to put more duroc on the map again with the launch of a certified pork-branded program.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Zwilling describes the start of this certification program. Plus, why the NSR will be making a push with this product soon.

He then explains a little background of the duroc pigs and some of the best qualities farmers and producers looks for in this breed.

After that, Zwilling jumps into how the NSR will help educate consumers on the duroc pigs and how accessible the products is for people.

To finish up the podcast, Zwilling describes his role at the National Swine Registry and how it shaped his agricultural career.

This podcast is sponsored by Anritsu.

Anritsu offers leading-edge technology that’s trusted worldwide for superior product inspection and contaminant detection.

Anritsu x-ray, checkweigher, metal detection, and combination systems deliver performance, reliability, and low total cost of ownership. Simply, Anritsu provides a level of precision, dependability and support that truly advances the quality of your products and efficiency of your operation

You can learn more at

Oct 29, 202124:45
Brianna Buseman propels the next generation of meat scientists

Brianna Buseman propels the next generation of meat scientists

Youth Meat Animal Extension Assistant Professor is not a common title we hear when thinking about meat education in the United States. As someone who started as a professor in 2020, Brianna Buseman has hit the ground running in her career at the University of Nebraska.

In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Buseman described why she wanted to make meat education her career and why Nebraska was the place she picked to start being a professor.

She then explained her role in both youth outreach across Nebraska and how she works with established farm organizations to grow interest in animal science.

Buseman also breaks down the basics of meat evaluation, grading and judging and how teaching those classes to the next generation of meat scientists has been an important part of career. 

Social media plays a crucial role in helping the university share information about meat education. Buseman explains how she uses platforms like Linkedin and Twitter in her messaging. In addition, she has her own podcast, the Meating Room, that covers issues of concern to the meat industry. 

Finally, Brianna discusses COVID-19, and what it’s been like taking on her first professorship during the pandemic.

This podcast is sponsored by Anritsu

Anritsu offers leading-edge technology that’s trusted worldwide for superior product inspection and contaminant detection.

Anritsu x-ray, checkweigher, metal detection, and combination systems deliver performance, reliability, and low total cost of ownership. Simply, Anritsu provides a level of precision, dependability and support that truly advances the quality of your products and efficiency of your operation

You can learn more at

Oct 22, 202135:32
Farmer Focus promotes poultry industry in Virginia
Oct 15, 202120:59
Resurrecting Feltman’s of Coney Island

Resurrecting Feltman’s of Coney Island

Brothers Joe, Michael and Jimmy Quinn grew up in Brooklyn, NY, hearing all about Feltman’s of Coney Island. The iconic beachside eatery was founded in 1867, by Charles Feltman, a German baker and entrepreneur whose claim to fame was inventing the world’s first hot dog and selling them by the thousands to Brooklyn area beachgoers. Feltman died in 1910, but his legacy and his business was carried on by his family until it was forced to close in 1954.

Having heard about the legend that was Feltman’s for decades, the brothers vowed to one day bring Feltman’s of Coney Island back from the ashes to its rightful place as a viable brand in Brooklyn and beyond.

That dream was initially shattered after Jimmy Quinn tragically died when the World Trade Center office he was working in was destroyed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. To honor their youngest brother, Joe and Michael resurrected the Feltman’s brand in 2015. In this week’s MEAT+POULTRYPodcast, Joe Quinn talks about the history of Feltman’s and how it captured the hearts and appetites of his family and became a labor of love he and his brother relentlessly pursued.

Since reviving Feltman’s, the brothers have seen it emerge as the fastest-growing hot dog company in the country, carried by more than 300 Whole Foods Markets, more than 1,100 Publix grocery stores and with online sales that have grown exponentially each year. Joe also discusses the company’s new bacon offering and how this was the next logical step in extending Feltman’s growing product line. Joe tells an inspirational story of the two food entrepreneurs motivated by a shared commitment to tradition and honor.

This podcast is sponsored by Anritsu

Anritsu offers leading-edge technology that’s trusted worldwide for superior product inspection and contaminant detection.

Anritsu x-ray, checkweigher, metal detection, and combination systems deliver performance, reliability, and low total cost of ownership. Simply, Anritsu provides a level of precision, dependability and support that truly advances the quality of your products and efficiency of your operation

You can learn more at

Oct 08, 202134:20
Superior Farms exec shares latest lamb trends

Superior Farms exec shares latest lamb trends

The COVID pandemic has been a challenging time for the meat and poultry industry, but for Sacramento, Calif.-based Superior Farms it was a time of unexpected sales increases.

When the pandemic hit 18 months ago, and foodservice sales immediately plummeted, Superior Farms feared what it could mean to its bottom line, as almost half of the company’s sales came from foodservice customers. However, the lamb market experienced a dramatic uptick in retail sales and Superior Farms gained a number of new lamb consumers.

“We saw incredibly strong retail demand that went throughout the pandemic,” said Anders Hemphill, vice president of marketing and brand strategy for Superior Farms. “A lot of consumers who were buying lamb weren’t the typical lamb shoppers.”

On this week’s MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Hemphill explains how Superior Farms was able to persevere through the COVID pandemic following necessary adjustments in processing practices and supply chain distribution.

Hemphill shares his insights on the challenges the lamb and the entire livestock market are facing now and how things will fare for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.

Hemphill also explains Superior Farms’ investments in solar and wind power, designed to make more of its facilities sustainable for the future.

Since joining the company in 2014, Hemphill’s career has been all about lamb. He shares how he transitioned his marketing career to working with Superior Farms, and what he’s learned along the way.

This podcast is sponsored by Anritsu

Anritsu offers leading-edge technology that’s trusted worldwide for superior product inspection and contaminant detection.

Anritsu x-ray, checkweigher, metal detection, and combination systems deliver performance, reliability, and low total cost of ownership. Simply, Anritsu provides a level of precision, dependability and support that truly advances the quality of your products and efficiency of your operation

You can learn more at

Oct 01, 202122:56
Delivering the message of safe food handling
Sep 24, 202125:12
Mindy Brashears on going from academia to DC, and back again

Mindy Brashears on going from academia to DC, and back again

Mindy Brashears, PhD, has spent the majority of her career in academia – first as a faculty member and extension specialist at the University of Nebraska and later at Texas Tech University as an assistant, associate and later full professor of food science. She has devoted her career to studying food science and training the next generation of food scientists along the way.

But during the last presidential administration, Brashears took off her academic hat to answer an unexpected call from Washington. She was invited to take on the role of undersecretary of food safety for the US Department of Agriculture. 

“My primary job was to go in, as a scientist, and make sure that decisions being made were science-based and data-driven. That was my charge; that was my objective from day one,” she said.

During this week’s MEAT+POULTRY podcast, Brashears shares stories from her days in Washington – from finalizing swine modernization and egg modernization to helping the nation’s meat packing industry navigate the COVID pandemic as it unfolded in early 2020.

After the Biden administration took over, Brashears returned to the world of education, now as a professor at Texas Tech and vice president of research at the university. In addition to teaching and mentoring tomorrow’s scientific leaders, she is working to use what she learned in Washington to bridge the gap between government, industry and academia.

Sep 17, 202137:23