20 JUL

Thoughts about industry meetings and conferences

Bill Mattos, President

California Poultry Federation


The California Poultry Federation hosts members, guests and allied colleagues at our Annual Meeting and Conference in September each year, and again this year our event (Sept. 13-14) is surrounded by water at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey, CA, one of the most inspiring and beautiful areas of the world. CPF members love it in Monterey, and from the attendance of allied companies across America, they do too. But today, while I may talk a little bit about our speakers and conference program, my main reason for writing is to highlight the importance of these annual meetings for every state poultry industry group.

These meetings are a time when our member companies can set aside their competition for consumers and spend time in meetings and receptions to discuss politics, regulations, animal welfare, processing and other areas where we can find ways to improve our industry and move it forward. That is certainly the goal of the CPF and its member companies. I was hired 22 years ago, and although most of the board has changed somewhat, the men and women who set our policy still tell me that "our meetings aren’t held for partying, but to improve our companies and find ways to make us all profitable."

That direction still sits at the top of our mission and our long term strategy and goals, and I think many states have that same objective. Companies want to find ways to improve, while also coming together to educate and lobby our elected leaders and regulatory agencies, whether they are in our own state or in Washington, DC. Our annual meetings give us the opportunity to meet state and federal officials, the very people who make decisions that affect us directly. We want to get to know them, and we hope they want to get to know every one of us as well. We invite politicians as well as political writers and regulatory officials to give us their perspective on what is happening in their world. Then, during our breaks and receptions, we find time to further discuss how what they do affects the industry. Sometimes we thank them and many times we argue for fairness and common sense. We hope our interaction helps, and we know it’s important.

This year Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, the recently named Assistant Administrator of the USDA FSIS Office of Field Operations, will talk about his new work and his unique challenges; and we have already asked him to come prepared to update us on the changes we hope to see with some rules and regulations coming out of the FSIS. Dr. Engeljohn always listens, and our work with him over the years has been remarkable. We are excited that he will join us this year.

Political writer Dan Walters is returning again this year, and he is one of the most informed and keen writers on politics in California. Based in Sacramento with McClatchy "Bee" newspapers, Walters is by far one of the best political writers in the state.

National Chicken Council’s Vice President of Communications Tom Super will update our group on his latest efforts to bring sanity to the media and what he and other agricultural associations are doing to spread accurate messages to both consumers and Washington, DC politicians. Super brings 13 years of combined experience in strategic communications, public policy, politics and meat and poultry issues management to NCC’s senior management team. He is responsible for day-to-day media relations, media outreach, social media management and strategic communications planning to supplement the National Chicken Council’s legislative, regulatory, consumer education and marketing efforts.

Sherrie Rosenblatt, communications director for the National Turkey Federation has made similar presentations to our group, energizing us on the new directions we may be able to include in our local marketing and communications efforts.

Annual meetings make lots of sense for all of us in the poultry association community, and they bring us closer to the people who can sometimes make or break our industry. The more we come together the more we learn from each other; we hope this turns into higher profits and a growing industry.

Click here for the CPF Annual Conference registration form. Make sure to take a look at the deadlines for hotel reservations and Conference registration fees. And, look for more information later this month in the mail and on the CPF website.

Bill's Signature

19 JUL

Study supports need to reform ethanol production mandate

In response to a new economic study on the impact of corn ethanol production on food prices and commodity price volatility, a coalition of livestock and poultry groups is urging Congress to reform the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates the amount of ethanol that must be produced annually. 

Conducted by Thomas Elam, Ph.D., president of FarmEcon LLC, an Indiana agricultural and food industry consulting firm, the study found that federal ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn, soybean and wheat prices to the detriment of food and fuel producers and consumers. Read More

A full copy of the study is available by clicking here

An infographic summarizing the study’s findings can be downloaded by clicking here.


11 JUL

Renewable fuel standard hits political divide at energy hearing

The renewable fuel standard (RFS) for transportation fuel is becoming another proxy battleground between Republicans and Democrats in the renewable energy debate, as the parties demonstrated Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing. Enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency-administered RFS requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into transportation fuel by 2022. Republicans charge that that type of policy places the government in a position to pick winners and losers in the economy.  Read More

11 JUL

The Great Debate: Science, Technology and Food

What technologies are farmers and ranchers using to produce food while protecting the environment? Is more research the answer to biotechnology in agriculture?

Moderator Michael Specter joined by panelists Daniel M. Dooley, Dr. Bob Goldberg, Eric Holst, Neil Moseley, Tim Nilsen, Katie Pratt, Karen Ross, Richard Smith and Stuart Woolf discussed these questions

11 JUL

2.5 million poultry culled in Mexico over AI outbreak

During the past three weeks, Mexican officials have culled 2.5 million birds at poultry farms in western Mexico in a strategy to contain an avian influenza H7N3 outbreak, AFP reports. Almost 150 poultry farms have been visited by officials. Of these farms, avian influenza was discovered in 31 farms, 34 tested negative and results for the rest of the farms have not been issued yet. On June 20, the outbreak was first uncovered in Jalisco state. As a result, Mexico’s government issued a national animal health emergency on July 2.  Read More
09 JUL

Conestoga-Rovers & Associations new CPF Allied Member

Conestoga-Rovers & Associations new CPF Allied Member

The CRA Family of Companies includes Conestoga-Rovers & Associates and a number of other entities that continue to maintain their own regional identity while working seamlessly within the entire organization.  The Family of Companies consists of over 90 offices and 3,000 people working on projects around the world.The agricultural industry is experiencing ever increasing and complex regulatory challenges.  CRA understands the industry, regulations, and requirements that are being imposed on the agricultural industry.  We can offer guidance and assistance to farmers, purchasers of farm produce, and providers of farm related services (including the financial, insurance, and legal sectors), to meet the regulatory challenges.

Click here for the company website. Contact Janie Sustaita at 559-326-5900 orjsustaita@CRAworld.com.


09 JUL

California Foie Gras Ban Turns Into a New Fight

When meat is outlawed — in this case fatty livers of geese or ducks — only outlaws will eat meat.
Foodies are hoarding all the fatty geese or duck livers they can find, while new foie gras farmers may be setting up right across the border.
Chefs are flaunting the ban on the fatty livers by serving the very French dish known as foie gras.
And California’s restaurant industry is in federal court, asking to have the ban on serving the fatty livers struck down for a long list of reasons.


All of this stems from a 2004 bird feeding law with a rather long trigger for a ban on serving foie gras, the French delicacy made from fatty livers of geese or ducks. The ban went into effect one week ago, on July 1, 2012. Read more
09 JUL

National Turkey Federation joins Smarter Fuel Future coalition

NTF joined the Smarter Fuel Future coalition that will continue to publicize the many negative effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and other biofuel polices.  The group launched an educational website, SmarterFuelFuture.org, which is intended to raise awareness about the economic, environmental, hunger and engine performance implications of the current U.S. biofuels policy.  This group adds another voice in calling on lawmakers to revisit the failed RFS and enact policies that are informed by markets, not mandates, and that crops are dedicated to providing food and feed, not fuel.

09 JUL

USPOULTRY announces 12th Annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award competition

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is now accepting nominations for the 12th annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Those eligible for the award include any poultry grower or egg producer (family-owned) who supply product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due September 14, 2012.
The award is presented to superior family farmers in six regions of the country. One award may be presented for each of the regions: Northeast, Southeast, South Central, North Central, Southwest, and the remainder of the United States. Nominations must be made by a USPOULTRY member or a state poultry and egg association by completing the application provided by USPOULTRY. Read More

09 JUL

McDonald’s New CEO Focuses on Chicken Amid Shaky Economy

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) (MCD)’s new chief executive officer is playing chicken with the menu.

As Don Thompson, 49, steps into the CEO role at the world’s largest restaurant chain, customers may see more new chicken items instead of beef. Thompson is pulling from McDonald’s 160- item recipe book, which includes bone-in chicken wings and cashew teriyaki salads with chicken, to sell new food and attract cash-conscious consumers amid a shaky global economy. It’s a “tremendous opportunity,” Thompson said during a consumer conference on May 30. Read More