This is what happens at a butcher convention

Each year during the first weekend in May, the Pennsylvania Association of Meat Processors has its annual convention in State College, PA, hosted by Penn State University. During the 2.5-day event, independent butchers and meat processors attend educational seminars, have products evaluated by experts as part of a cured meat product competition, and perhaps most importantly, discuss challenges and successes with each other.  Though in the same business, many attendees (in all, there are usually >300 processors and suppliers) are not direct competitors.  How’s that?  Because one operates a small-scale shop three counties away from another.  In short, there business doesn’t always overlap.  The result is a fun meeting attended by a lot of outgoing, happy people.

I’ve posted a few photos to show what sort of activities happen at the PAMP convention.  Although it’s the “Pennsylvania” association, we have members from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia attend this meeting each year.  It’s great to bring everyone together in Happy Valley.

This is what most deli ham looks like before it's cooked. Workshop attendees learned how to make this -- when cooked, it was an outstanding product!

It is important to stuff the ham tightly so large, symmetrical slices can be made the entire length of the ham.

We also made braunschweiger (liver sausage)

Braunschweiger is often stuffed in a yellow-gold casing

The brisket and tri-tip were awesome as usual

There was a People's Choice award for ready-to-eat products... A spicy sopressata won!

There were 150 cured products in the annual PAMP Product Show

The judges deliberated for a long time before choosing an overall winner -- this year, it was a .... turkey!

The convention was another success for 2010.  We look forward to hosting PAMP in 2011!

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