The annual board meeting and executive conference of the UEP held recently in Williamsburg, Va., was detailed in the organization newsletter United Voices. The following initiatives will be implemented.

• The UEP has established a Food Safety Scientific Advisory Council comprising eleven scientific experts to improve industry safety programs.

• The UEP will update the 5-Star Total Quality Assurance Food Safety Program to be presented to the FDA and the FMI for their consideration.

• Funding of approximately $2.7 million will be required for the Michigan State University and the Midwest Universities Consortium to evaluate alternative caged systems, including enriched colony modules.

• Animal welfare guidelines have been established for hatcheries producing pullet chicks, following a 2009 incident involving alleged improper disposal of cockerels.

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• The Egg Pack Committee reported contributions for the current year, which exceeded the goal.

• Mark Oldenkemp, of Valley Fresh Foods, was honored as the UEP’s Egg Producer of the Year.

• Howard Helmer received the President’s Award for his long service promoting eggs.

Guest speakers at the conference included Robert Kohlhagn of Diverse Ctiversey Inc. on sustainability. Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, addressed issues relating to cooperatives and activities of the USDA and the Department of Justice. Dr. Cora Morgan of the Food and Drug Administration provided a review on performance measures to access SE reduction and Marie Fenn President, of the National Peanut Board, discussed the salmonella crisis in 2009 affecting peanut products.