Election Results and Committee Briefings

October 24, 2019

During the Annual Conference, UEP elected its new slate of officers at the Board meeting on October 17. The new officers include egg producers Tom Hertzfeld, Jr. as chairman; Craig Giroux as vice chairman; Mike West as treasurer; and J.T. Dean as secretary.

Cliff Lillywhite chaired the Food Safety Committee Briefing. Jeff Hendrix from USDA, Agriculture Marketing Services (AMS), updated attendees on USDA egg purchase recipient acceptance issues and sanitation inspection updates. AMS and UEP will conduct a webinar on the sanitation inspections prior to the January 1, 2020, implementation date. Oscar Garrison, UEP’s SVP of Food Safety, led a discussion on the “New Era of Smarter Food Safety,” FDA’s blueprint for a people-led, FSMA-based, and technology-driven program focused on prevention. The committee had a robust discussion of proactive measures that can be implemented by UEP for current and future food safety challenges.

During the Government Relations Briefing, chaired by Tom Hertzfeld, Jr., UEP’s Washington team, Randy Green and Louie Perry, reported on D.C. policy and politics. Jennifer Porter, USDA deputy administrator, reviewed AMS programs and services. Mike Sheats, USDA director, Agricultural Analytics Division, provided details on USDA trade mitigation initiatives.

J.T. Dean chaired the Animal Welfare Briefing, and Dr. Larry Sadler, VP of Animal Welfare, updated the committee on the UEP Certified program, portal and audit firm standards. Vice Chair Roger Seger reviewed the guidelines determining when desk audits should be completed in lieu of on-site audits. UEP President Chad Gregory provided animal welfare updates in key states.

Steve George chaired the Environment Briefing and facilitated a roundtable discussion of state developments. UEP consultant Tom Hebert gave an overview of current environment issues including the Mississippi River Basin Lawsuits, upcoming climate change legislative debates in Congress, and EPA draft emissions factors to be announced in the spring of 2020.

The Animal Health and Biosecurity Briefing, chaired by Sherman Miller, began with a report by Green on the 2018 Farm Bill Animal Health funding. Debbie Murdock, from the Pacific Egg & Poultry Association, led a discussion on California’s strategy to eradicate virulent Newcastle Disease and how USDA and state funding have significantly helped contain the disease. Garrison, Miller and John Bedel provided updates on the current vaccines available and the committee discussed the need for rapid approval for new vaccines and other biologics to help fight emerging pathogens, diseases and vectors. Taskforce members, recognizing the expanded role of the group, made a motion to transition to a standing UEP committee which was approved by the UEP Board.