Election Results and Committee Briefings

November 4, 2021

During the Annual Conference, UEP elected its new slate of officers at the Board meeting on October 29. The new officers are egg producers Craig Giroux as chairman; Mike West as vice chairman; J.T. Dean as treasurer; and Sherman Miller as secretary.

J.T. Dean chaired the Animal Welfare Briefing. Sandra Lausecker, chair of the Organic Subcommittee, provided information on USDA certification for imported organic soybean meal and the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule (OLPP).

Dr. Larry Sadler, VP of animal welfare, updated the committee on the UEP Certified program, portal enhancements, and the new UEP Certified training videos, which are on track for completion in February 2022. The Board approved the committee's recommendation for UEP Certified program fees to remain at the same level as 2020.

Dr. Janice Swanson, chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, provided credentials on the committee's new members and described the work completed on the cage-free guidelines. Drafts in five key areas are in progress.

Chair Karyn Kreher opened the Food Safety Committee Briefing, and Oscar Garrison, SVP of food safety regulatory affairs, introduced the following speakers:

Dr. Jerry Ramirez, the FDA national poultry expert, covered several topics, including the Egg Safety Inspections course required for agency lead investigators, guidance for the use of parasitic wasps for pest control, procedures for submitting digital records, FDA egg farm inspections and the most common Egg Rule violations.


Andrew Kennedy, co-leader of FDA's tech-enabled traceability initiative, presented the key concepts in the proposed traceability rule. The rule compliance date is two years after the effective date of the final regulation. Click here for FDA traceability resources.



Jeff Hendricks, USDA Agriculture Marketing Services (AMS) national shell egg supervisor, spoke about the AMS biosecurity policy, shell egg surveillance activities, and the voluntary grading program. Hendricks encouraged all producers to use the Egg Processing Facility Sanitation Training Modules created by AMS and Purdue Extension.

Steve George chaired the Environment Briefing and introduced Hema Prado, the American Egg Board (AEB) Director of Sustainability. Prado spoke about AEB's sustainability priorities and the importance of producers completing the Life Cycle Analysis survey and using the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs (US-RSPE) framework to measure and report sustainability.

UEP consultant Tom Hebert gave an overview of current environmental issues, including the EPA's draft report on emissions factors for layers, UEP's comments on proposed restrictions on pyrethrin, and the upcoming WOTUS roundtables.

During the Animal Health and Biosecurity Briefing, chaired by Sherman Miller, Dr. David Swayne, USDA AMS laboratory director for avian viral diseases research, compared the global avian influenza outbreak since August 2020 as very similar to the fall of 2014 across Europe and ultimately leading to the 2015 outbreak across the U.S. Producers are encouraged to be vigilant in reviewing and implementing biosecurity plans. Dr. Swayne also spoke about other emerging diseases.

Dr. Randy Singer spoke about his research on antibiotics in layers. He asked producers to complete a blind survey for flock-level data to strengthen the research results. UEP PR Consultant Hinda Mitchell spoke about the proactive planning by the Team Egg Crisis Communicators in preparation for a possible HPAI outbreak in the U.S. Garrison highlighted several APHIS poultry sector commitments.

During the Government Affairs Taskforce, chairs Glenn Hickman and Tim Schipper reviewed EGGPAC.  Contributions total $115,353, which is 92 percent of the $125,000 goal. The taskforce will continue to implement improvements to encourage participation. The Government Relations Briefing, chaired by Rob Knecht, began with the status of the top five priority issues by UEP's Washington team, Randy Green and Louie Perry. Green also covered UEP comments on lab-grown products and climate-smart agriculture and provided a summary document of all USDA COVID relief programs for egg producers.

Jeff Hendricks spoke about AMS purchases, research on long-term egg storage and the voluntary grading program.