“Hot Topic” Speakers Entertain, Inspire and Educate

October 25, 2018

The conference agenda included a diverse slate of speakers.  Industry legend Howard Helmer was warmly welcomed by the crowd.  As the Guinness world record holder for cooking omelets, 427 in 30 minutes, Helmer has spent years educating people about the ease of transforming eggs into omelets.  Helmer charmed the crowd as he demonstrated how to cook a variety of omelets.

Olympic champion, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Joey Cheek shared his journey from rollerblading as a youth in North Carolina to becoming the speed skating gold medal winner in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.  Speaking about the specific steps he took to prepare for the Olympics, Cheek read entries from the daily journal he used during his training.  After the Olympics, Cheek donated his Olympic winnings, totaling $40,000, to Right to Play to help refugees driven from their homes in the Darfur crisis in western Sudan.  He was selected as the inaugural Heisman Humanitarian Award winner in 2006 and continues to advocate for those in need.

Tim Kurt, Scientific Program Director at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), previewed the Egg Tech Prize, a $6 million initiative open to researchers worldwide, to find a solution for in-ovo sex determination.  While recent advancements in technology are promising,  this process is scientifically complex, with millions of dollars already spent by stakeholders to develop a solution.  The prize will foster competition and build momentum to support scientific breakthroughs to provide a practical solution for the egg industry.

Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada and current Chairman of the International Egg Commission, encouraged UEP members to be familiar with three movements critical to egg farming: 1) Sustainability and responsible egg production, 2) The World Health Organization’s stand on non-egg/non-meat diets and antimicrobial use, 3)  The Consumer Goods Forum’s initiatives on sustainability and food waste in packaging.

Randy Reichman spoke about the Hatch for Hunger initiative and the important role of egg farmers.  The organization coordinates the donation of eggs to food banks.

Sandra Lausecker reported on the 2019  Future Leaders Conference, which will be held June 18 to 21 in Lake Tahoe.