The Meat Industry Hall of Fame has inducted seven new members based on ballots cast by members and the organization's Board of Trustees.
"The final tally was extremely close with more than a dozen extremely well-qualified people within just a few votes of becoming one of the six new members," said Chuck Jolley, HOF president. "A tie in the voting resulted in an unprecedented seventh person joining this year's group of honored individuals."
Among the qualifications for nomination to the Hall, candidates must have contributed significant innovation, achieved notable business success or otherwise positively impacted their organization, institution or larger industry segment. In addition, those nominees chosen for induction have undertaken significant community service or philanthropy during their careers and upon retirement.
Members selected since the group's founding in 2008 include as Dave Thomas, Frank Perdue, Ray Kroc, Don Tyson and Jimmy Dean, Dick Knowlton, Temple Grandin, Gary Smith, Rosemary Mucklow and Ken Monfort.
To date, a total of 70 Members have been inducted, not including the Class of 2015: William Bucker, Jo Ann Smith, William McMillan, Edward C. Jones, James Lochner, Laurence Bettcher and Wolf Ludwig.
The 2015 Induction Ceremony will take place on Nov. 2 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Meet the new members >>
William (Bill) Buckner, President of Cargill Meat Solutions
William (Bill) Buckner serves as one of five members of Cargill's leadership team, where he will retire in August, capping a 28 year career with that company. From the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak of 1993, to the discovery of BSE in the United States in 2003, to the more recent controversy about lean, finely textured beef, Buckner has helped lead the beef industry in dealing with its share of challenges.
Jo Ann Smith, Former President, National Cattlemen's Association
Jo Ann Smith became deeply involved in the beef industry as a member of the Florida Beef Council and later as an appointee to USDA's Animal Technical Advisory Committee on Livestock and Livestock Products, the Foreign Animal Disease Advisory Committee and the Meat Pricing Task Force. She was elected in 1985 as the first woman president of the National Cattlemen's Association and was the founding chairperson of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board that developed the programming for the Checkoff.
C.W. "Bill" McMillan, National Cattlemen's Association Vice President for Washington Affairs
Bill McMillan has had a profound influence, often behind the scenes, on the US beef industry and on international trade. His career began as a County Agent near Fort Collins, Colo. Later, he joined the National Cattlemen's Association, rising by the 1960s to Vice President for Washington Affairs. In that role, he was a key architect in the political maneuvering that resulted in passage of the Meat Import Law by Congress in 1964, which resulted in significant trade benefits for the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Edward C. Jones, President of Jones Dairy Farm (inducted posthumously)
Ed Jones played a major role in the development of Jones Dairy Farm, a Wisconsin-based pork processing company renowned throughout the industry for its high quality and innovation in processed meats. During his tenure at the helm of the family-run company, Jones was responsible for strong growth and expansion of the firm's operations. He initiated an aggressive quality-control program and instituted national advertising exposure that led to opportunities for distribution in supermarkets and retail outlets in all 50 states and even a few foreign countries.
James V. "Jim" Lochner, Tyson Foods Chief Operating Officer (retired)
As Tyson Foods COO, Jim Lochner led thousands of team members responsible for producing high-quality foods safely, with a focus on humane handling and care for the land and the environment. After a long career at IBP Inc., which was acquired in 2001 by Tyson, Lochner retired in 2014. During his tenure, he oversaw the company's poultry and fresh meat production operations, food processing, international divisions and renewable products. He also led several divisions that supported Tyson's key business units, including transportation, information services, product development, and environmental, health and safety services.
Laurence A. Bettcher, Bettcher Industries Chairman & CEO (Retired)
Laurence Bettcher served as the President of Bettcher Industries since 1979, before retiring in 2014. He currently holds directorships at Bettcher Industries, First Citizens Banc Corp. in Ohio, and The Citizens Banking Company. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, he developed his company into a premier manufacturer of cutting tools used in food processing and other industrial applications. Under his leadership, Bettcher developed the first mechanically powered hand-held meat trimmer in 1954.
Wolf Ludwig, Founder of Wolf-tec and WTI
Wolfgang Peter Ludwig immigrated to the United States from West Germany in 1967 at age 23 with his wife Ursel and two young sons Ralf and Peter. He had been trained as a master sausage maker in a small Black Forest town near Baden-Baden, and he used that knowledge to launch a career in meat processing. After a decade of learning English while working for various U.S. processors and supplier companies, he pursued his dream of becoming an industry-leading manufacturer. Just 10 years after arriving in the United States, he started the company that now bears his name, in his garage and with only $1,000 in start-up money.