TUCKER, Ga. — The USPOULTRY Foundation recognizes Michael Robach for 30 years of service on its Foundation Research Advisory Committee (FRAC). He began serving on FRAC in 1991 as a poultry subject matter expert — making him the longest-serving committee member.
“Mike’s vast knowledge of the research in food safety and quality assurance, coupled with decades of practical experience, provided a continuity of excellent input to the USPOULTRY research programs,” said Dr. John Glisson, USPOULTRY vice president of research from 2011-2019. “I suspect few people are aware of the decades of selfless service Mike provided to the program. He will be greatly missed.”
Robach holds more than 40 years of experience in the food industry, serving much of it as vice president, corporate food safety, quality and regulatory for Cargill. With FRAC, he reviewed food safety research proposals and served as its chairman for several years during his tenure.
Robach was also awarded USPOULTRY’s 2019 “Workhorse of the Year” during the International Poultry Expo, which is part of the International Production & Processing Expo. Dubbed the poultry industry’s most prestigious honor, it’s awarded annually in recognition of dedicated service and valuable leadership given to the association and poultry industry.
“Mike is and continues to be one of those individuals who through volunteerism has had not only a tremendous impact on USPOULTRY and our foundation but the industry as a whole,” said John Starkey, USPOULTRY president. “We are most grateful to him for the time and dedication he gave to the Research Advisory Committee.”
Dr. Charlie Beard, former director of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and former vice president of research at USPOULTRY, recruited Robach to FRAC.
“Mike was an outstanding member of the committee, providing valuable input over many years,” Beard said. “His record of service as a highly respected expert on food safety has provided USPOULTRY with the kind of dependable advice and guidance that has helped the committee achieve a continuing record of providing research funding in food safety.”
Robach is a past chairman of the board of directors of the Global Food Safety Initiative, past president for Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere and a past member of the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Council Executive Committee for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
He also is a past member of the North American Meat Institute, the National Turkey Federation, the International Association of Food Protection, the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Society for Microbiology.
Robach has worked with the World Organization of Animal Health and Food and Agriculture Organization on harmonized animal health and food safety standards. He has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration regarding food safety policy, HACCP and regulatory reform based on science.
From 1995 to 2000, Robach served as a member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria in Foods. Currently, he is CEO of the Robach Group and remains active in the poultry industry and with the Continental Grain Co.
Dr. Angie Siemens, vice president, corporate food safety, quality and regulatory for Cargill, will assume Robach’s role on FRAC.
“His many years of experience in poultry production and long service to USPOULTRY research programs have been a labor of love,” said Dr. Denise Heard, USPOULTRY director of research. “I am excited to welcome Dr. Siemens to the committee and look forward to working with her for many years to come.”
Siemens is responsible for food safety issues and quality management systems and processes in approximately 53 beef, turkey, egg, case-ready and processing facilities in North America.
She oversees the food safety issues of meat co-packers and meat and ingredient suppliers as well. She received a doctorate in meat science and master’s degree in animal science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Purdue University.