ST. CLOUD -- Meat experts from all over the state are in St. Cloud this weekend for the 75th annual convention of the Minnesota Association of Meat Processors.

Rob Lorentz of MAMP says the convention is a good chance for people in the industry to come together and interact.

"If you're in the meat business and you have a problem making a product or interested in making a new product, there's a ton of resources here," Lorentz says.

"It's just a great group for anybody that's in the industry to gain access to more technology [and] information."

The outlook for the meat industry is in the news this week as data shows a decline in locally-owned meat businesses over the past 25 years.

Despite this, Lorentz -- who started working in his father's meat plant when he was eight years old -- says the future for locally-owned meat businesses looks bright.

"The niche meat business is huge right now," says Lorentz. "I truly feel this new local food movement is really a great deal to go back to the source."

"Learn where your food is coming from and form a relationship with the people who are making your food."


Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON