Sometimes, comments that are made deserve to be repeated.
As you can imagine, I heard a lot of thought-provoking, insightful and even humorous remarks while covering the poultry and animal feed industries in 2018, whether they were spoken during a direct interview or at an industry event.
Many of them were worth repeating in 2019. Here are 13 of my favorite quotes from industry professionals in 2018:
- “There are no trophies for second place with Salmonella.” -- Gerald Duncan, agriculture operations adviser for Cargill Turkey Products, speaking at the 2018 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention
- “I think you are actually going to see some food companies stepping forward in some very new and different ways, and I think people will revisit where they get their food from if that’s done correctly.” -- Justin Whitmore, chief sustainability officer, Tyson Foods, speaking during Food Tank podcast
- “People can get too defensive, too emotional and aggressive at some point, and we have to learn not to be too aggressive. I don’t think that’s helping us as an industry.” -- Judson Vasconcelos, head of veterinary and consumer affairs with Merck Animal Health, discussing communicating with agriculture adversaries at the 2018 Liquid Feed Symposium
- “If you are a farmer and you want to protect your flock, put all of your efforts into protecting your flock by reducing potential fomite exposure.” – Dr. David Swayne, laboratory director of Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, U.S. National Poultry Research Center, USDA, addressing avian influenza biosecurity measures during the webinar, “Combat high-pathogen avian influenza,” sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and presented by WATT Global Media.
- “Look, I’m basically Darth Vader. Nobody’s ever going to listen to me.” – Donnie Smith, former Tyson Foods CEO on why farmers should tell the story of agriculture, rather than those in higher-profile industry positions, speaking during a Heuermann Lecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
- “Who in their right mind would eat that kind of stuff? Would you feed that to your kids?” -- Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist in the department of animal science at University of California-Davis (UC-Davis), speaking about cell-cultured foods at the 2018 Liquid Feed Symposium.
- “We know how to grow slow-growing chickens. We’ve done it.” -- Mike Donohue, vice president of AgriStats, speaking of repeating the past during the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE).
- “If you get a reputation of not responding, or not responding in a helpful way, reporters are going to pay less and less attention to you, especially when you have something that you really need to or really want to respond to, you’re going to have a hard time probably getting your voice out there.” -- Philip Brasher, AgriPulse senior editor, on the agriculture industry’s relations with the media, speaking at the 2018 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit.
- “The first frog you kiss isn’t usually the one you walk down the aisle.” -- Tom Mastrobuoni, chief financial officer, Tyson Ventures, on investing in start-ups that may not be successful.
- “Why is growing less than 50 grams per day for 58 days better for welfare than growing 61 grams for 44 days? Could someone please answer that question for me?” -- Alison van Eenennaam, PhD, UC-Davis cooperative extension specialist, speaking about slower-growing broilers at the 2018 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit.
- “If you’re not serious about your water sanitation, just stop there. Don’t go any further. Don’t pass go because there won’t be $200 to collect.” -- John Menges, Eastern regional manager, Best Veterinary Services, speaking at the 2018 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.
- “We, too, have to change. Those of us that know and love agriculture (must understand) practices are changing. Consumers are demanding different things.” -- Ted McKinney, USDA under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, speaking at the 2018 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit
- “It’s not an option to be silent. Your initial response is going to set the tone.” – Janet Riley, then-North American Meat Institute senior vice president of public affairs, discussing public relations efforts during a food contamination incident at 2018 IPPE.