Head of American Meat Institute to step down

 American Meat Institute (AMI) President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle said he will leave AMI after 24 years.

Boyle once served as an agricultural legislative assistant to former Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.). 

The transition at AMI comes at the U.S. has opened free trade agreement talks with the European Union. Access into the EU for meat and poultry products will be a major factor in the talks.

It also comes as Congress struggles to finalize a five-year farm bill. The measure features a pitched battle between cattlemen and packers over the implementation of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) rule, which would prevent packers from giving preferences to larger growers.

Boyle is credited by AMI for promoting more humane slaughter procedures and for fighting for uniform government safety rules and nutrition labels.

AMI Chairman Nick Meriggioli, president of Kraft Foods, Inc./Oscar Mayer, highlighted Boyle’s efforts on working with the government on animal welfare and worker safety.