Mike Robach, retired vice president, Corporate Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory for Cargill, was named USPOULTRY’s Workhorse of the Year during the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo. The poultry industry’s most prestigious honor is awarded annually in recognition of dedicated service and valuable leadership given to the Association and poultry industry.

Robach was “collared” with the long-established horse collar by 2018 Workhorse of the Year recipient, Bernard Leonard, former group vice president of Food Service Poultry and Prepared Food for Tyson Foods, past USPOULTRY chairman and current USPOULTRY Foundation director. He was also presented with a commemorative plaque.

“We are honored to recognize Mike with this special award and acknowledge his many contributions to the poultry industry. We are deeply appreciative of his efforts on behalf of the Association, the USPOULTRY Foundation and the industry,” remarked Hensley.


Robach is a graduate of Michigan State University and Virginia Tech. He started his career with Monsanto Company and then headed up technical services for Conti Group’s meat and poultry businesses. Robach joined Cargill in January of 2004 to lead the company’s corporate food safety and regulatory affairs programs.

Robach is a past chairman of the board of directors of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), past president for Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere (SSAFE), a past member of the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Council Executive Committee for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and a current member of the USPOULTRY Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee. He is also a past member of the North American Meat Institute, the National Turkey Federation, the International Association of Food Protection, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the American Society for Microbiology. Robach has worked with the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on harmonized animal health and food safety standards. He has also worked closely with the USDA and FDA regarding food safety policy, HACCP and regulatory reform based on science. From 1995 through 2000, Mike was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria in Foods.

“Mike is one of those individuals, through his volunteerism, who has had not only a tremendous impact on USPOULTRY and our Foundation, but the industry as a whole. He changed our industry. Needless to say, we are most grateful to him,” said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.