State of the Union

January 10, 2019

By Chad Gregory, President and CEO

2018 will no doubt be recorded as a rollercoaster year for the U.S. egg industry.  There were plenty of things to be thankful for and some great achievements, but also numerous setbacks.  Each one of these challenges presented an opportunity for UEP to help lead the industry.  There was the egg recall that began in April and consumed most of the summer and early fall.  The litigation that the industry has been dealing with since 2008 went to trial in May. California had a tumultuous year with the activist group DxE breaking into an egg farm, Proposition 12 passing easily, and virulent Newcastle disease continues to spread uncontrollably.  The year closed with H5N2 LPAI popping up in Minnesota, leading to concerns of mutation and another Midwest epidemic.

With all that said, I am proud to highlight these impressive achievements for UEP in 2018:

  • Despite these ups and downs, UEP continues to represent 90 percent of the egg production in the U.S.
  • Once again, your staff managed UEP’s finances very responsibly.
  • The UEP Board and membership approved new area boundaries and board representation.
  • The 5th Annual Future Leaders Conference was held in Washington, D.C.
  • The online portal to help simplify record keeping for the UEP Certified Program was built.
  • Due to UEP’s, and other ag groups, persistent efforts, Congress and EPA declared the reporting of air emissions from farm animal waste is not required under CERCLA and EPCRA.
  • A record number of members attended the Area Briefings, which focused on the egg recall and plant sanitation.
  • UEP celebrated its 50th year of leading egg producers and the industry at its Annual Executive Conference in Maui with more than 500 in attendance.

    UEP Chairmen (L to R) David Lathem, Barrie Wilcox, Ron Truex, Gary West, Brian Barrett, Roger Deffner, Bob Krouse, Dolph Baker, Jim Dean

  • An impressive and comprehensive UEP 50-year history book was compiled by staff. Please let us know if you’d like a hard copy.
  • Linda Reickard, Dr. Jeff Armstrong and Kurt Lausecker were presented with the President’s Award.


  • The late Gregg Clanton appropriately received UEP’s most distinguished award – Egg Producer of the Year.
  • UEP remained very active and engaged in dialogue with USDA‘s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service about indemnity funds for both LPAI and HPAI, as well as voiced concerns about the proposed changes to virus elimination payments.
  • UEP helped initiate and launch the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research contest to eliminate the culling of day-old male chicks.
  • UEP continues to work with outstanding consultants:
    • Randy Green (Watson-Green LLC)
    • Tom Hebert (Bayard Ridge Group LLC)
    • Hinda Mitchell (Inspire PR Group)
    • Louie Perry (Cornerstone Government Affairs)
  • Once again, your UEP staff attended and presented at countless conferences and meetings.

UEP expects a busy and productive year in 2019.  The UEP staff and consultants wish you all a very prosperous and Happy New Year!