21 JAN

E15 Decision “Another Giveaway to Ethanol Interests,” National Chicken Council Says

A spokesman for the National Chicken Council said today that the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow 15 percent ethanol in motor gasoline for older-model cars and light trucks is “another giveaway to the ethanol interests” that could lead to higher food prices due to increased demand for corn, the principal feedstock for ethanol.

“EPA’s decision is another giveaway to the ethanol interests and again demonstrates EPA cannot or will not balance the broad national interests on this issue,” said Bill Roenigk, senior vice president and chief economist for NCC.

“E15 may be good for ethanol producers and corn farmers, but it is clearly detrimental to all other interested parties,” he added. “To the extent EPA and the ethanol industry actually manage to force more ethanol into the nation’s motor gasoline, they will put even more pressure on the already very tight supply of corn. When consumers ask why their food costs are higher, it will be difficult for EPA to explain that today’s decision had no impact on the food shopper’s dollar,” Roenigk said.

Chicken producers are major users of corn, which has more than doubled in price in recent years as the federal ethanol mandate has kicked in. EPA’s decision today responded to a petition from Growth Energy, an association of ethanol producers.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

17 JAN

Companies Invited to Apply for Safety Recognition

Poultry industry facilities with outstanding safety programs are invited to apply for recognition under the Joint Poultry Industry Safety Award Program, it was announced here today. The program recognizes facilities that have achieved injury and illness rates below the industry average for three consecutive years through the implementation of innovative and effective programs. Poultry or egg processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills or rendering facilities that are operated by member companies of the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association are eligible to apply.

Workplace injury and illness rates for poultry processing facilities have declined by 75 percent over a 16 year period (1994 through 2009), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Craig Wyvill, retired division chief of the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Food Processing Technology Division states, “The dramatic reduction in recordable injuries and illnesses is not surprising when you consider that over the past 25 years the industry has put considerable emphasis not only on complying with safety regulations but also on proactively tackling safety challenges. The industry’s efforts have changed the way safety is handled in processing plants today.”

Award program application forms are available by clicking on the following link – application. Application forms can also be obtained on the www.poultryegginstitute.org website. The application deadline for the 2011 awards is March 1, 2011. The annual awards will be presented during the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry, June 1-3, 2011, at the Savannah Marriott, Savannah, GA.

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council are made up of members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent 95 percent of the nation’s poultry products and employ hundreds of thousands of workers. USPOULTRY, Jan. 17

26 MAR

Truthful Labeling Coalition takes case to Institute of Medicine Meeting


Charles M. Hansen, III

The Truthful Labeling Coalition
(202) 550-6270


WASHINGTON D.C., March 26, 2009 — The Truthful Labeling Coalition (TLC) will reveal the exorbitant sodium content of mislabeled “all natural” fresh chicken to members of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake on Monday, March 30, 2009. As many of the nation’s leading medical and food industry professionals meet to explore strategies toward reducing sodium, the Coalition will direct attention to labeling practices that allow fresh chicken with 822% more sodium than truly natural chicken to be labeled “100% Natural” or “All Natural” under current U.S. Department of Agriculture poultry labeling guidelines.

“Consumers purchasing fresh, all natural chicken believe it is a healthy choice,” said Ira Brill, on behalf of West Coast-based Foster Farms, a TLC member. “They don’t expect to find high sodium levels in fresh chicken, nor do they expect to pay for that deliberately-added saltwater as part of the overall package price.”

“Saltwater-Enhanced” Chicken by the Numbers:

· Directly out of the package, a single serving of “saltwater-enhanced” chicken may contain over 440 mg of sodium—almost 20% of the 2,300 mg limit recommended for a healthy adult. For the millions of Americans on a sodium-restricted diet – that one serving of saltwater-enhanced chicken can be over half of their daily limit!


· In addition to all that extra sodium, American consumers are unknowingly spending a huge amount of their hard-earned grocery dollars on unwanted saltwater. The U.S. government estimates that consumers spend over $2 billion per year buying saltwater at chicken prices.


· 70 percent of people surveyed by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in 2007 said that the label “Natural” should mean that no saltwater has been added.

Committed to the truthful labeling of fresh chicken, the TLC has led an aggressive campaign to urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enforce its existing labeling rules to allow only 100 percent natural chicken, with no additives such as saltwater or seaweed extract, to be labeled as "100% All Natural," and has championed the requirement that all added ingredients be prominently displayed on the label. The Truthful Labeling Coalition (TLC) is a coalition of truly natural chicken producers and over thirty thousand grassroots citizens in all fifty states. In 2008, the Coalition successfully fought USDA-approved labels that falsely claimed that the poultry had been “Raised Without Antibiotics.” For more information or to join the TLC’s efforts, go to http://www.truthfullabeling.org.

The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake will hold an information-gathering Open Session on March 30, 2009 from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm (approx). Location: Venable Conference Center, Room E11200 (8th floor), 575 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004.

Editor’s note: For copies of the TLC presentation to the Committee, product label comparisons, interviews and additional information, please contact Charles M. Hansen, III.



13 FEB

Nilsen Farms Recognized for Environmental Excellence

For Immediate Release
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
Contact Larry Brown LBrown@poultryegg.org
February 12, 2009

ATLANTA – Nilsen Farms, Wilton CA, was one of six farms across the United States to receive the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award during the 2009 International Poultry Expo here. U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, based in Tucker, GA, sponsors the annual awards in recognition of exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.


Applicants were rated in several categories, including dry litter or liquid manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques, innovative nutrient management techniques, and participation in education or outreach programs.

Monty Henderson (left), 2009 chairman of the board of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, and president and chief operating officer of George’s, Inc., headquartered in Springdale, AR, presented the award to Ben Gutierrez (center) and Tim Nilsen.


Applications are reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies, and state trade associations in selecting national winners in six regions.


Nilsen Farms was established in the 1950s when Norm Nilsen Sr. began raising chickens in the high desert of Southern California and sold them directly to the public in Los Angeles. The operation later evolved into an egg farm, selling to a wholesaler. It soon developed enough volume for on-site processing and cartoning. With an engineering background, Norm Sr. set up a poultry watering system he named Swish. Following his unexpected death, his son Norm Jr. developed the system into Swish Manufacturing. As he managed the new company, he turned the egg farm over to Jesus Gutierrez.


Norm Jr. later sold the manufacturing rights to Swish and relocated to Wilton in Sacramento County.

He built a 550,000 square foot poultry operation and contracted with Foster Farms for turkey production. Nilsen Farms now consists of three turkey facilities with 650,000 total square feet of turkey production. In 2002 Norm Jr.’s son Tim became active and, along with Jesus’ son Ben Gutierrez, continued to develop the company, adding tunnel ventilation to better control the growing environment, improving performance, litter management, and enhancing bird welfare.


Mortality management is handled through Foster Farms’ rendering service, ensuring a clean environment. Litter is moved to a composting facility which produces fertilizer, most of which is sold to farmers and bagging companies. A nutrient management plan was implemented in 2005 to protect local streams.


Nilsen Farms is actively involved in the local community and was chosen as a feature farm to educate the public on poultry production and animal welfare methods.




23 SEP

CPF honors outstanding industry members at annual conference

California Poultry Federation
Modesto, CA Press Release


Contact: Bill Mattos (209) 576-6355 califpoultry@cs.com


Sept. 23, 2008, Modesto, CA – – The California Poultry Federation honored outstanding members of the state’s poultry industry last week at its annual conference held at The Resort at Squaw Creek.

The CPF’s top honor went to Richard and Kathy Zacky, who received the Golden Rooster Award for their many years of service and advocacy. Richard served as chairman of the CPF in 2002 and 2003, and he will begin a new term as chairman in 2010. “During his long tenure on the CPF board of directors, Richard has raised the level of awareness of poultry and poultry products among legislators, consumers and business associates,” said CPF Chairman Bob Shipley. “Supporting him, and working right along side at various events, fund-raisers and activities has been his bright and energetic wife, Kathy. Together they have worked tirelessly to serve the many facets of the poultry industry, while giving back to their community, state and country.”

CPF President Bill Mattos praised the Zackys for hosting the CPF’s annual summer meeting at their Avila Beach home. “The Zackys are a primary reason for the growth and interest in this activity year after year,” said Mattos. “Together they have also spent countless hours in both Sacramento and Washington, DC promoting California’s diverse poultry industry and working to level the playing field for business here in California so that we remain competitive with the rest of the nation.”

The Allied Award was presented to Evans Keller, a sales and marketing specialist to the food industry for poultry. Keller has served California’s poultry and egg industry as an allied member since 2002 after spending almost 30 years working in the poultry industry throughout the United States. Today, as a consultant for an animal health company, Keller works as a sales and marketing specialist to the food industry for poultry, covering the nine western states along with researching and formulating start-up agendas for companies in the Organic, Antibiotic Free and Natural Foods arena.

CPF Chairman Shipley said, “Evans has assisted in raising the image and the stature of the poultry industry in both allied and industry circles, and he has also attended every lobby day event for members in Sacramento and Washington, DC effectively promoting the industry and working for a better future for poultry and eggs.” Keller served as Chairman of the CPF in 1993 and has been a member of the board of directors since 1991.

The Pioneer Award was presented to the Diestel Family, owners of Diestel Family Turkey Ranch in Sonora. Their turkey was recently named the best tasting range fed turkey by the San Francisco Chronicle. “This family has always been known for its locally grown, fresh and natural and range fed birds that sell throughout the west,” noted Mattos. In the early 1920s Ernest Bottini, great uncle of Tim Diestel (today’s owner) started what has become the family tradition of raising premium quality range grown turkeys on his 400 acre ranch in the Sierra foothills. Ernest took special care growing each turkey and built a successful trade with many of the famous landmark San Francisco restaurants, to whom he delivered old fashioned New York dressed turkeys on his own truck. “They believe that their family secrets of range growing with extra time, individual care, and a wholesome diet and environment consistently produce a better, tender and juicy turkey that has real old fashioned turkey flavor,” explained Shipley.

(Editor’s note: High resolution photos of award winners are available upon request. Please contact Mark Looker at marklooker@yahoo.com)

The CPF, headquartered in Modesto, is the trade association for California‘s meat bird industry, representing chicken, turkey, duck, squab and game bird producers and processors.






06 JUN

California Poultry Federation commends Sen. Feinstein on bill lowering tariff on imported ethanol


California Poultry Federation
Modesto, CA
Press Release


Contact: Bill Mattos (209) 576-6355 califpoultry@cs.com

California Poultry Federation commends Sen. Feinstein on bill lowering tariff on imported ethanol

June 6, 2008 Modesto, CA – – California Poultry Federation President Bill Mattos today commended California Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her introduction of legislation that would reduce the tariff on imported ethanol.

“The California poultry industry is being impacted by the rising cost of feed as over one-quarter of the U.S. corn crop is diverted from feed and food to the production of ethanol,” explained Mattos. “This diversion of corn from feed is raising the cost of production for California poultry producers and those cost increases will be felt by consumers. This legislation is an important first step in getting Congress to revisit food-to-fuel mandates and subsidies.”

The Imported Ethanol Parity Act would require the President to lower the 54-cent per gallon tariff on imported ethanol to a level at or below the per gallon subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline. “The subsidy is 51-cents per gallon currently, but the recently-passed Farm Bill reduces the subsidy to 45-cents per gallon – a good first step,” said Mattos. “The legislation reduces the real trade barrier on clean and climate-friendly ethanol imports that currently gives gasoline imports a competitive advantage against ethanol imports.”

Mattos added, “It is important to keep in mind that these subsidies were primarily designed to boost the initial development in renewable fuels production. However, feedgrains-based ethanol production is now growing at an astounding pace. Passage of the Imported Ethanol Parity Act, which will reduce the ethanol import tariff by only 9 cents per gallon, certainly will not put the economic health of the ethanol industry in jeopardy. However, it is a welcome beginning toward a more open international market for ethanol.”

The CPF, headquartered in Modesto, is the trade association for California’s meat bird industry, representing chicken, turkey, duck, squab and game bird producers and processors.


29 APR

Chicken and Portobello Salad with Port Fig Vinaigrette

Chicken and Portobello Salad with Port Fig Vinaigrette(2)Vinaigrette

1 cup ruby Port
4 California Dried Mission Figs, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced
3 portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills scraped out, and sliced
1 pound Foster Farms Thin-Sliced Chicken Breast Fillets, cut into ¾-inch strips
1 5-ounce bag mixed salad greens
5 tablespoons crumbled, cooked bacon
1/2 cup crumbled Real California Feta Cheese®
California Dried or fresh Mission Figs, for garnish

For vinaigrette, boil Port, figs, onion and sugar in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to ¼ cup, about 8 minutes. Transfer to blender. Add vinegar and ½ cup olive oil; cover and blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In same skillet, heat ¼ cup of the vinaigrette over medium-high heat. Add garlic and Portobello slices; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; remove from skillet. Add remaining tablespoon oil and chicken to skillet. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Toss greens with vinaigrette, bacon, and ¼ cup feta. Top with mushrooms and chicken. Sprinkle remaining feta over top and garnish with figs.

Makes 4 servings.

Kristine Snyder, Kihei, HI
2004 Third Place
Chicken Traditions with Flair Category

29 APR

Grecian Chicken Slaw

Grecian Chicken Slaw(1)12 ounces Foster Farms Refrigerated Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
1 jar (6 ounce) marinated artichoke hearts, drained reserving the liquid
2 fresh California Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups slaw mix
2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives

Salad Dressing
1 6-ounce container plain yogurt
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 small green onion, minced
1/4 cup Real California Feta Cheese®, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley sprigs, for garnish

In large mixing bowl, gently toss chicken and next 7 ingredients. In a small bowl, mix salad dressing ingredients with the reserved artichoke liquid. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing with the chicken mixture. Garnish with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Roxanne Chan, Albany, CA
2004 Third Place
Chicken with an Ethnic Twist Category