Meat processors hold conference to discuss new processing procedures

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COLUMBIA - Meat lovers are uniting in Columbia this weekend to discuss their favorite topic. 

The Missouri Association of Meat Processors is holding its 76th annual convention and trade show beginning Friday morning. 

Bill Crane, owner of Crane's Meat Processing in Ashland, said the convention is important in teaching innovative processing procedures to meat processors throughout the state. 

He said the convention brings new equipment to the business that could affect consumers. 

"Equipment can now replace people. Equipment is a big part in meat processing. It's no longer by  hand," Crane said. 

The new equipment is offsetting the expense of human labor, which could make for lower meat prices as better technology develops. 

The convention will also discuss new legislation in the meat processing industry, and it will host a competition in which 200 meat items will compete to be named some of the best meat in the state.