H. Kenneth Johnson Legacy Recognition

Ken Johnson

"the 'firsts' Ken created have changed everyone's 'everyday'....."

AMSA's first Executive Director, long-time Secretary-Treasurer and Board member... most everyone in AMSA has met Ken Johnson. But few realize the large and lasting impact created by this quiet, behind-the-scenes leader. Every time we step up to the meat counter, every time we consult a meat recipe, every time meat is exported or imported, and in every step from fabrication to your fridge, his innovations have brought us safer and easier-to-use retail meat. His work also showed retailers how to make wiser inventory and pricing decisions to reduce waste and give consumers more value for their money. We take all these advantages for granted today because the 'firsts' Ken created have changed everyone's 'everyday' experience with meat.

More about Ken below...

Continuing the Legacy

In keeping with his innovative spirit, Ken Johnson desires that donations made in his name will spearhead the development of the Innovation Fund. This part of the AMSA Educational Foundation:

  • helps launch new programs
  • grows new programs to self-sufficiency
  • equips students with leadership training
  • underwrites responses to urgent research or media issues
  • lets AMSA respond nimbly to new opportunities

More about Ken....

After working in quality control for several chains, he became the Director of the Merchandising Department of the National Live Stock & Meat Board (NLSMB). He coordinated a nationally recognized meat retail labeling program. Later, as NLSMB’s Vice President of Meat Science, he conducted projects with industry and government on sanitation, meat evaluation standards, meat nomenclature, adoption of the Universal Product Code, food advertising and nutritional labeling, served on USDA’s Expert Meat Grading Panel to develop official USDA marbling photographs for beef, collaborated on the meat industry’s “Random Weight Code” format and number scheme, coordinated multiple revisions of the Meat Buyer’s Guide published by the North American Meat Processors, and was project leader in developing “Communicating Cutability to the Retailer” (a software package developed with Texas A&M University) that led to the development of “Computer Assisted Retail Decision Support (CARDS)”, a program demonstrating value-added marketing concepts so that the industry could incorporate the principles of price/value relationships.

Ken also has been AMSA's guardian angel. Serving 23 years as Secretary-Treasurer, he gave guidance to many Executive Boards.  In countless ways, Ken has worked to promote AMSA as an impartial, science-based organization that is worthy of international respect in academia, industry, and government. He was a key leader during AMSA's transition to autonomy as the NLSMB dissolved in 1996, and he became AMSA's first Executive Director to help our organization gain sure footing and even prosper amid dramatic change.

Ken has earned a long list of awards and honors. He is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts, Ohio State University, and the University of Connecticut. He continues to encourage and inspire as an emeriti member of AMSA.


AMSA Foundation

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Checks written to the AMSA Development Council may be sent to:

AMSA Development Council
c/o American Meat Science Association
26145 Network Place
Chicago, IL 60673-1261
United States

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