Additional Guest Speakers Present During Committee Briefings

May 23, 2019

USDA AMS Speakers Jeff Hendrix, Bruce Summers and Jennifer Porter

UEP Chairman Brian Barrett welcomed over 140 members to Washington, D.C. The legislative meetings began with the Government Relations Committee Briefing, chaired by Tom Hertzfeld, Jr. UEP consultants, Randy Green and Louie Perry, reviewed position papers on topics selected by the committee: Animal Health, Immigration, Food Labeling and Commodity Checkoff Programs.

Bruce Summers, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator, with colleagues Jennifer Porter and Jeff Hendrix, provided updates on AMS programs and service initiatives and the new grading proposal. See page 7 for UEP’s comments on the rule.

The May 16 agenda began with the Environmental Committee Briefing, chaired by Steve George. UEP Consultant Tom Hebert provided updates on Waters of the U.S. rulemaking, the pending final EPCRA rule, and litigation in Iowa and Ohio.  Hebert also reviewed the Farmers for a Sustainable Future fact sheet.

The Animal Welfare Committee Briefing was opened by Chairman J.T. Dean. Dr. Larry Sadler, VP of Animal Welfare, introduced Dr. Ken Anderson who provided an overview of the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) auditor training and certification. Jeff Waite, Chief Audit Services, USDA AMS, spoke about the USDA ISO TS34700 Animal Welfare Assessment Program.  Chad Gregory presented the new UEP Certified Cage-Free logos and, along with Sadler, spoke about UEP Certified and animal welfare updates.

The Animal Health and Biosecurity Committee Briefing was opened by Chairman Sherman Miller.  Oscar Garrison, SVP of Food Regulatory Safety, provided an overview of the LPAI Indemnity and Compensation Policy and the APHIS Poultry Sector Meeting.  An update on virulent Newcastle disease was presented by Debbie Murdock from the Pacific Egg & Poultry Association.

The Food Safety Committee Briefing was opened by Chairman Cliff Lillywhite.  The majority of this meeting was devoted to Joe Levitts’ presentation on Whole Genome Sequencing.

Dr. Mindy Brashears

Dr. Mindy Brashears, USDA Deputy Under Secretary of Food Safety, spoke to UEA Further Processors about the technology that will drive efficiencies in the egg inspection program.  Dr. Brashears has been nominated for the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety and is awaiting senate confirmation.