American Meat Institute President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle has announced that he will step down at the end of the year.
He has led the organization 24 years, making him the longest-serving president in AMI's 107-year history.
"With the organization in a sound position to meet the challenges of the future and given the many accomplishments of the last two decades, this year seemed like an appropriate time for me to move onto another phase of my professional life," he said in a press release.
Boyle joined AMI in 1990 after serving as administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. Before that, he was an attorney at several food trade associations and as agricultural legislative assistant to former Sen. Pete Wilson, R-Calif.
"Under Patrick's 24 years of leadership, AMI has been an influential voice for the meat and poultry industry successfully addressing numerous public policy challenges," said AMI Chairman Nick Meriggioli, president of Kraft Foods, Inc.-Oscar Mayer.
"He has led AMI's efforts that have enhanced the safety of our products, the protection of our workers, the welfare of our animals, and the preservation of our environment," he said.
During Boyle's tenure, AMI formally petitioned USDA to require nutrition labels on meat and poultry products and to promulgate a regulation requiring that meat and poultry plants implement food safety controls. USDA subsequently issued final regulations on both proposals.
He also led the re-establishment of the AMI Foundation, which made its mission to reduce and ultimately eliminate E. coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef and Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat products.
During the 1990s, Boyle and his team also were the early adopters of the animal welfare approach of Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University. AMI partnered with Grandin on its animal handling guidelines for the industry and an animal-welfare audit program.
-- Carol Ryan Dumas