At United Egg Producers’ (UEP) annual board meeting and executive conference, held in Maui, Hawaii, the organization celebrated four individuals who have made a lasting impact on the U.S. egg farming community. The annual conference marked the 50th anniversary of UEP’s work in representing the nation’s egg farmers.
Egg industry leaders Linda Reickard of Eldridge, Iowa; Dr. Jeff Armstrong of San Luis Obispo, California; Kurt Lausecker of Raymond, Ohio; and the late Gregg Clanton of Williamston, South Carolina, were recognized at UEP’s awards dinner on October 18. UEP also elected officers to lead the organization’s board of directors.
“As we celebrate a half-century of egg industry accomplishments, it is an honor to recognize these individuals for their contributions to UEP and the egg farming community,” said Chad Gregory, president and CEO, UEP. “As the recognized voice of U.S. egg producers, UEP relies on the strength and knowledge of our farmer-members, staff, and animal scientists and agricultural partners to produce safe, wholesome eggs, ensure hen well-being, and work towards a sustainable future.”
President's Award recipients
Three individuals received the UEP President’s Award:
Linda Reickard worked for UEP for over 35 years, serving in many roles including meeting planner, EGGPAC coordinator, accounts receivable and much more. She began working for the Midwest UEP region in May of 1977. In 1998, after the consolidation of the regional offices, Reickard continued to work for UEP from Eldridge, Iowa, until retiring in 2012. Reickard, known for her loyalty and kindness, was an invaluable employee and remains a member of the UEP family.
In 1999, UEP asked Dr. Jeff Armstrong to establish an independent Scientific Advisory Committee for Animal Welfare. Dr. Armstrong, serving as the head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University, selected a committee comprised of distinguished animal scientists and veterinarians to create science-based guidelines for hen welfare. These guidelines served as the foundation for the UEP Certified animal welfare program which was established in 2002. Dr. Armstrong chaired the UEP Scientific Advisory Committee until 2011 and is currently the president of California Polytechnic State University.
Kurt Lausecker moved to the United States from Germany in 1978 with his wife, Gertrud, and established Daylay Egg Farm in Raymond, Ohio. He and his family currently own and operate Nature Pure, an organic egg farm, also in Raymond. He has been a friend, supporter and member of UEP for more than 35 years. Lausecker served in multiple leadership roles in the Midwest UEP region, including chairman from 1992 to 1993. In 1998, Lausecker chaired the UEP Long Range Planning Committee, which led to the much-needed consolidation of UEP regional offices to a headquarters location in Atlanta, Georgia.
Longtime UEP member and industry leader Gregg Clanton received posthumously the organization’s highest honor: Egg Producer of the Year. Clanton had served on the board since 1997 before his passing in February 2018. During the 2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza crisis, he served as chairman for the Biosecurity Taskforce, which was formed to provide industry leadership and direction. Clanton became a member of UEP’s Executive Committee in 2015 and was slated to be an office holder, and eventually chairman before he became ill. Clanton’s wife, Anna, and daughters, Julia and Nicole, of Williamston, South Carolina, received the award on his behalf.
Gregg Clanton | Photo courtesy of United Egg Producers
UEP also elected its slate of board officers at its annual meeting on October 19. The officers include: egg producers Brian Barrett of Texas as chairman; Tom Hertzfeld, Jr., of Ohio as 1st vice chairman; Craig Giroux of New York as treasurer; and Mike West of California as secretary.