We are back to where we are supposed to be after our meetings in Chicago.  You might be surprised to know that your scribes from Food Safety News were present for the inauguration of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.

One of the benefits of attending the event at Chicago’s Union League Club was hearing from Bill Kurtis, the famed broadcaster from CBS at a time when it was justly known as the Tiffany Network.

If you are old enough, you remember a time in the 1970s and 80s when the CBS Morning News with the likes of Hughes Rudd or Bill Kurtis actually poured on news straight with your black coffee for a full half hour in the morning.   When you hear Bill Kurtis speak, it’s with that voice of authority that is unmistakable.

Turns out that Kurtis, who now is heard narrating A&E Shows like American Justice and Cold Case Files, has his own connection to the America’s beef industry.  His Tallgrass Beef Company on 10,000 acres at Sedan, KS produces grass-fed “no guilt” beef for some of Chicago’s best known restaurants like Harry Caray’s and directly to the public via internet sales.

His Tallgrass Ranch also contains the Laura Ingalls Wilder home of Little House on the Prairie fame.

Needless to say, with his understanding and that voice, Kurtis did a magnificent job for the year-old Meat Industry Hall of Fame that now provides a permanent repository for the accomplishments of the meat, poultry and livestock industry.

Without further comment, here’s the list of the first inductees:

  • 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, Founder and former 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