Rendering professionals from around the country recently gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for USPOULTRY’s 2022 Poultry Protein & Fat Seminar. Presentations were offered on a variety of topics from industry experts, ranging from regulatory updates to staffing issues, safety, odor abatement and more.

Employee recruiting and retention continue to be an ongoing issue across the animal protein industry. A roundtable discussion on how to address these challenges highlighted the need to continue focusing on employees once they have been hired to ensure that the organization is responsive to the changing needs of its workforce. Barbara Jenkins, vice president of education and student programs for USPOULTRY, spoke about the USPOULTRY College Student Career Program and its effectiveness in recruiting employees to the ranks of member companies.

Paul Schlumper, director of safety health and environment services at Georgia Tech, discussed some of the benefits of working with OSHA partnership resources to be proactive in ensuring compliance at a facility. While Georgia Tech is one provider of this service, there are others in each state. Looking at the causation of injuries, Schlumper noted that frequently the cause of an injury is a group-or system-wide issue, not necessarily the individual who was injured.

Kevin Baker, vice president of market development at Darling Ingredients, provided an overview of export markets, paying special attention to biomass-based diesel feedstock and soybean meal. A key takeaway from his presentation is that, compared with raw biodiesel feedstock such as soy or canola oil, the fat recovered during rendering has a substantially lower carbon intensity score, making it a more sustainable alternative to those other options.

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John Pierson, principal at Pierson Enterprises, reviewed the various types of scrubbers available for abating odor and other emissions, as well as how they can be best selected and operated to achieve desired goals. Pierson urged attendees not to chase the wrong problem at their facility by attempting to address a physical problem with a chemical solution.

Chad Cleck, corporate transportation projects manager for Darling Ingredients, provided an insightful look into some of the technology available to trailer owners and operators to ensure that assets are accounted for at all times and can be recovered if an unplanned event occurs.