People, Places, and...

California State Vet Recognized

California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones was honored for her extensive contributions to animal health and animal agriculture with a 2016 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Administrator’s Award.

Jones, who also serves as treasurer of the United States Animal Health Association, was recognized for a long list of accomplishments in public service, including directing the state and federal partnership to eradicate an outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease; successfully directing the response to detections of avian influenza; and consistently demonstrating an ability to work cooperatively with other government agencies, the public, and industry in emergency animal disease planning efforts at all levels.

Jones began her career at the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2001, was named director of the agency’s Division of Animal Health and Food Safety Services in 2004, and was named state veterinarian in 2010.

Hayes Succeeds Smith as Tyson Foods CEO

Tom Hayes, president of Tyson Foods, will succeed Donnie Smith as chief executive officer (CEO) on December 31, 2016. Smith, who has been CEO of Tyson Foods since November 2009, will be available as a consult to the company for three years. Hayes was appointed president earlier this year after serving as chief commercial officer and president of food service. He is a 29-year veteran of the consumer products industry.

Rendering Symposium Returns to IPPE

The sustainability of the United States and Canadian rendering industries will be showcased at the annual International Rendering Symposium being held in conjunction with the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) February 2-3, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. Notable speakers will discuss how rendering by-products from the meat and poultry industries contribute to the life cycle analyses of animal agriculture and environmentally-friendly biofuel.

The two-day rendering symposium, sponsored by the National Renderers Association (NRA), will open with a virtual tour of a rendering plant followed by discussions on various aspects of rendering’s sustainability and green footprint. Presentations and speakers include:
• “Facts or Fiction on Livestock and Climate Change” by Dr. Frank Mitloehner of the University of California-Davis, a global leader known for his carbon footprint analyses
• “Rendering: Making animal agriculture sustainable” by NRA’s Dr. David Meeker, explaining how rendering specifically fits into the system
• “From Cow to Shoe: The symbiotic relationship between rendering and leather tanning” by Stephen Sothmann, president of the U.S. Hides, Skins, and Leather Association

Other symposium topics include used cooking oil – an important and sustainable service that renderers provide to the restaurant industry – innovation in the rendering industry, and how rendered ingredients stack up to other feed ingredients from a nutritional standpoint. International trade will also be discussed as well as the implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act on rendering.

Cost for the symposium is $200 for registered IPPE attendees online or at the show. For the full agenda, visit or e-mail Jessica Meisinger.

Rendering Program Leader Retires

Dr. Doug Hepper, who presided over the development of California’s Rendering Industry Advisory Board, is retiring at the end of the year after 26 years of service in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in animal science and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Washington State University, Hepper became the owner of a veterinary practice in Bellingham, Washington, in 1983. In 1988, he moved to California to work for the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. He began working for CDFA in 1990 as a veterinary medical officer with the Meat Inspection Program.

For the past 20 years, as he advanced from staff veterinarian to northern area supervisor and then to branch chief, Hepper worked closely with the rendering industry to ensure all companies operated legally and when new programs were instituted to address inedible kitchen grease theft. He supported research and evaluated a plethora of new technologies to convert meat by-products to various uses, ensuring that such technologies did not undermine established animal and public health standards. Hepper also invested many hours and developed relationships with other state agencies, legislators, and government executives to help them understand the importance of the rendering industry in California as shifting policies and incentive programs impacted the management of meat by-products. 

“I am going to miss Dr. Hepper’s practical approach to problem solving, willingness to stand up for those that are underrepresented, and good-natured approach to work and life,” said Dr. Annette Jones, California’s state veterinarian. “He certainly deserves the best in his retirement. He earned it.”

December 2016 RENDER | back