14 FEB

Foster Farms appoints Dan Huber as Chief Executive Officer

Huber, previous Chief Operations Officer, has 23-year tenure with company

Foster Farms, the West Coast’s leading poultry producer, announced that its board of directors has appointed Dan Huber, 53, to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the privately-owned company, effective today. Huber has held several leadership positions at Foster Farms since joining the company in 1996, most recently serving as Chief Operations Officer. He replaces Laura Flanagan, who resigned to pursue other opportunities.
“Dan is uniquely qualified to lead Foster Farms,” said Terry Martin, Chairman of the Board, “He brings over 23 years of agribusiness, supply chain, food production, food safety, and branded sales management experience to this position. His depth of expertise and familiarity with Foster Farms’ business and community are strengths that will drive the company into the future. We thank Laura for her many contributions to Foster Farms and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

14 FEB

California Governor Gavin Newsom appoints farmer, conservationist Bill Lyons as special adviser on agricultural, water issues

By Mark Looker, Looker Communications Consultant
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 that William (Bill) Lyons, 68, of Modesto, has been appointed Agriculture Liaison in the Office of the Governor. Lyons, a third-generation farmer who served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture under Gov. Gray Davis from 1999 to 2004, oversees his family’s 95-year-old farming and cattle ranching operation in Stanislaus County and has received numerous awards for his environmental stewardship and conservation efforts.
Lyons was selected as the western regional finalist for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 2010 Conservationist of the Year Award and received the United States Department of Agriculture National Environmentalist Award. He has an extensive background in agriculture and water policy. This position does not require Senate confirmation.
Lyons said, “I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve Gov. Newsom and his Administration. I’m committed to exploring balanced, common-sense and science-based solutions for the critically complex water and agricultural issues facing the state.”  Read more
14 FEB

Five ways Gavin Newsom made it clear he’s not Jerry Brown

A month after being inaugurated, Gov. Gavin Newsom used his State of the State speech Tuesday to make his strongest showing yet that Jerry Brown is no longer in charge. He proposed scaling back two of Brown’s legacy projects-a high-speed train and a pair of tunnels to move water from north to south. He rescinded Brown’s deployment of California National Guard troops to the Mexican border. He voiced support for education and housing policies that Brown stayed away from.
All leaders want to distinguish themselves, so it’s no shock that Newsom is carving his own path. California’s last several governors took office vowing to right the perceived wrongs of their predecessors. Brown himself, in his first term, was a change agent.  Read more
13 FEB

Foster Farms announces multi-million dollar expansion of Livingston plant

Today, Foster Farms President and CEO Laura Flanagan announced a multi-million dollar capital investment project that will support an expansion and upgrade of the company’s poultry processing facility in Livingston.

The multi-million dollar investment will expand the facility’s product lines, which currently provide 2,032 jobs in Merced County. Additional jobs will be added as part of the expansion. Construction for the Foster Farms expansion project has already begun, with completion scheduled for September 2019. The expansion has been made possible by a $6.5 million economic incentive package, developed by state and local government leaders working in concert with Foster Farms executive staff.

Read more

13 FEB

UGA researchers use machine learning to identify source of Salmonella outbreaks

A team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety in Griffin has developed a machine-learning approach that could lead to quicker identification of the animal source of certain Salmonella outbreaks.

In the research, published in the January 2019 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Xiangyu Deng and his colleagues used more than 1,000 genomes to predict the animal sources, especially livestock, of Salmonella Typhimurium.

Deng, an assistant professor of food microbiology at the center, and Shaokang Zhang, a postdoctoral associate with the center, led the project, which also included experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.  Read more

13 FEB

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on new steps to strengthen the agency’s process for issuing public warnings and notifications of recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking new steps to strengthen and modernize the process for issuing a public warning about a voluntary recall and for notification of recalls.

Most companies collaborate with the FDA to rapidly initiate voluntary recalls and work with their supply chain partners to remove the product from shelves to prevent further distribution. And in general, a recall occurs quickly when the problem is discovered. However, there are situations where the FDA may need to provide safety advice to marketplace to protect consumers. Read more

13 FEB

USDA updates virulent Newcastle disease situation

During the week of Jan. 25-31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed 26 cases of virulent Newcastle disease in California’s Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  APHIS also reported that an additional 84 cases were confirmed between Dec. 21, 2018, and Jan. 24, 2019. These detections occurred during the recent government shutdown, and while APHIS employees were responding to the detections during that time, the weekly update messages and updates to the APHIS website were not completed. The delayed updates include two commercial cases in Riverside County, Cal., and one case in backyard exhibition chickens in Utah County, Utah, which had been announced during the shutdown.  Read more

13 FEB

Worried about their chickens, hundreds crowd Norco meeting on deadly Newcastle disease

About 225 people jammed a Norco meeting hall Tuesday night, Feb. 5, to learn about a disease that has reached the town famous for its country, animal-keeping, lifestyle and poses a serious threat to the community’s chickens.

Since May, virulent Newcastle disease has spread to parts of Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Already, 1 million birds have been euthanized across Southern California, including 900,000 in commercial poultry operations and 100,000 in backyard flocks, said Robyn Corcoran, a veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “There is no treatment for this virus,” Corcoran said. “And it is almost 100 percent fatal.”  Read more