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Several prestigious awards were handed out earlier this week during the American Meat Institute (AMI) Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention and Exposition in Chicago.
The late Don Tyson, former chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc., was honored with AMI's highest award, the Industry Advancement Award.
Tyson died in January 2011 at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer, but according to AMI chairman Dennis Vignieri, president of Kenosha Beef International, he left an indelible mark on the meat industry.
In presenting the award, Vignieri said that Tyson was among the individuals whose drive and innovation helped to transform the U.S. meat and poultry industry from its former commodity mindset to its laser focus on the consumer and the importance of meeting their ever-changing needs and expectations.
Arrowsight, Inc. was named AMI's 2011 Supplier of the Year. The Supplier of the Year Award is given to a supplier member of AMI that truly partners with meat and poultry processors to help achieve industry goals. Under the leadership of president Mark Moshier, Arrowsight provides remote video auditing (RVA) services for animal welfare, food safety monitoring, and a wide range of operational applications in the meat industry, according to AMI.
Vignieri noted that Arrowsight's technology and third-party RVA services are being deployed in many of the industry's plants. Arrowsight technology exists in 23 U.S. and Canadian beef plants. Another eight U.S. beef plants are expected to implement the technology by the end of the year. The technology and systems are also expected in nearly 20 pork and turkey plants by the end of 2011.
In the community service arena, Seaboard Foods was awarded AMI's Edward C. Jones Community Service Award.
In presenting the award, Vignieri called Seaboard's generosity "wide-ranging." The company donated $450,000 over 10 years to the Leoti, Kansas, school system to provide technology to improve education. Seaboard also donated $100,000 to the Oklahoma State University Swine Education and Research Center. Guymon, Okla. -- one of Seaboard's plant communities -- benefited from a $100,000 donation to build a new YMCA, and Seiling, Okla., has new trees around the city thanks to Seaboard.
Seaboard Foods has also supported Ronald McDonald House, the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and the Chester, Oklahoma Historical Society.