“We are trying to get ready for what could be coming down the pike. We have had discussions with USDA and FDA about possibly rendering birds if a reoccurrence of avian influenza happens this fall,” said J.J. Smith, president of Valley Proteins, Inc., while speaking to attendees at USPOULTRY’s 2015 Poultry Protein & Fat Seminar in Nashville, TN. During his presentation on “Avian Influenza Biosecurity Response: Cleaning and Disinfecting,” Smith discussed Valley Proteins’ experience with avian influenza in the Shenandoah Valley in 2002. He remarked that based on this experience, he expected rendering of birds affected with avian influenza to be very unlikely. Smith also discussed an avian influenza contingency plan and reviewed areas that should be addressed from a rendering standpoint.
Hal Davis, protein plant manager for Pilgrim’s, discussed Pilgrim’s program for “Employee Engagement and Retention.” Davis discussed the company’s values, observing that Pilgrim’s strives to be the best managed and most respected company in the industry. He reviewed Pilgrim’s ‘SAFE-T’ initiative comprised of safety, attendance, food safety, everyone matters and transition to production.
In his presentation on “Employee Engagement and Retention…Engaging Millennials,” Dan Henson, vice president of operations for Simmons Feed Ingredients, PRO*CAL, PRO*TEMP, and Sensora divisions, examined Simmons’ efforts for engaging and retaining millennials through various team interaction methods. Henson noted that millennials are now the largest labor force in the US. He reviewed the characteristics that define the millennial age group, such as the desire to belong to a team or group, mentor others, learn new skills, make a difference, be recognized and accomplish what others cannot. Henson remarked that millennials also prefer self-defined projects and love technology.
Paul Schlumper, principal research engineer with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, provided a summary of the rendering safety site visits conducted by his team in his presentation on “Safety in the Rendering Plant.” He reviewed areas of improvement and positive findings, provided a brief analysis on injury and illness rates, gave a synopsis of program reviews and discussed recommendations moving forward.