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Iowa Ag Secretary briefed on Daybreak bio-security

Northey makes Estherville visit

May 19, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey visited Daybreak Foods in Estherville Wednesday morning. Steve Bliesner, assistant vice-president of operations, along with Todd Halbersma and Brett Pickar, showed Northey the steps the company has taken since the avian influenza outbreak of 2015.

Northey said he was grateful to understand all the processes.

"It's obvious you have made a huge investment and put a lot of thought into it. I've not yet seen anything close to anything you do here," Northey said.

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Bio-security upgrades include a truck wash, and facilities and procedures for the Estherville location's production and processing staff of approximately 72 people to shower into and don uniforms for each early morning shift. Uniforms are kept in the locker rooms. Shuttle buses transport employees from the main building to the production and processing floors and back. Maintenance workers have a separate set of guidelines for where they locate to keep the operation on track.

Northey said, "I'm impressed with how you've taken the aspects of people, vehicles, air and water to control the potential of riskwhen you invest in these innovations, it helps everyone in the industry. Companies can share best practices and new ideas, which will keep everyone and our food supply safe."

Northey said he has a great job as Iowa Ag Aecretary, but that he would consider an undersecretary position with the USDA or another dream job if offered.

"Anything I could do in that area would benefit Iowans," Northey said.



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