× David Wasserman
David Wasserman
House Editor, Political Analyst, The Cook Political Report

David Wasserman is House Editor for The Cook Political Report, where he is responsible for analyzing U.S. House Races and is recognized as one of the nation's top election forecasters. Founded in 1984, The Cook Political Report provides analyses of Presidential, U.S. Senate, House and gubernatorial races. The New York Times has called the Report "a newsletter both parties regard as authoritative."

Nate Silver of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight.com has written: "Wasserman's knowledge of the nooks and crannies of political geography can make him seem like a local," and the Los Angeles Times has called David a "whip smart" and "scrupulously nonpartisan" analyst whose "numbers nerd-dom was foretold at a young age."

In 2016, David drew praise for his accurate pre-election analysis, including his piece "How Trump Could Win the White House While Losing the Popular Vote," written two months before Election Day. Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, recently called David "pretty much the only person you need to follow on Election Night."

David's election commentary has been cited in numerous top publications including Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and RealClearPolitics.com. He has served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, and 2008, and has appeared on NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN Washington Journal, CNN, and NPR. David is a frequent contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com and NBCNews.com. In 2018, his groundbreaking interactive collaboration with FiveThirtyEight, the "Atlas of Redistricting" took top prize for News Data App of the Year at the Global Editors Network's Data Journalism Awards. In 2014, Twitter awarded David "Best of Twitter" honors for his real-time election coverage.

An enthusiast for data and maps, David served as a contributing writer for both the 2016 and 2014 editions of the Almanac of American Politics. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer, David has shared his insights into the latest political trends with audiences at Harvard's Institute of Politics, the Dole Institute of Politics, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics among others.

Prior to joining The Cook Political Report in June 2007, David served for three years as House Editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a widely respected political analysis newsletter and website founded by renowned Prof. Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. In that role, David led the publication to correctly predict Democrats would score a gain of 29 House seats in November 2006.

A native of New Jersey, David holds a B.A. in Government with distinction from the University of Virginia and was awarded the 2006 Emmerich-Wright Outstanding Thesis prize for his study of congressional redistricting standards.

    
× Randy Green
Randy Green
Principal, Watson Green LLC

Randy Green, a principal at Watson Green LLC, has seen food and agriculture policy from all sides, having served in both the executive and legislative branches of government and in the private sector. Over his career he has been closely involved in the development of five multi-year farm bills, as well as major legislation and regulations affecting derivatives, food safety, animal health and human nutrition.

Randy came to Washington in the 1980s to work for former Representative Charles Stenholm (D-Tex.) and later served former Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) on the staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee. With the exception of two years as a deputy under secretary of agriculture, Randy served on the agriculture committee staff continuously from 1989 to 1999. The last two years he was chief of staff.

In 1999 Randy entered the private sector to represent agricultural and food industry clients. Earlier in his career, he managed government relations for the American Soybean Association and was director of the Wheat Export Trade Education Center.

In 2013, Randy and Lisa Watson formed Watson Green LLC, a firm centered on food and agriculture policy and public affairs.

× Rick Pascot
Rick Pasco
President, Sweeteners Users Association

Rick Pasco is a partner at Watkinson Miller PLLC where he is legal counsel and lobbyist for a number of agribusiness clients in the food, agricultural, trade and environmental arenas. He has more than 30 years of experience working in agriculture and food-related legislative and regulatory matters. Mr. Pasco specializes in advising and representing trade associations and companies on government policies and programs. In this capacity, he serves as President of the Sweetener Users Association and Vice President of the Sugar Club.

He has a wealth of experience working with Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He has played a key role in implementing lobbying strategies and advancing agricultural program and trade reforms, as well as developing environmental guidelines, food labeling rules, and food safety/nutrition legislation. During the course of his private and public-sector career, he has been closely involved in six omnibus farm bills.

An important part of Mr. Pasco's work for trade associations is his counsel and advice to ensure that their political action committees (PACs) are in full compliance with federal elections laws and regulations administered by the Federal Election Commission. He is the firm's expert on these issues. Mr. Pasco is uniquely qualified to bring his broad experience to bear in helping solve the problems of clients in the private sector.

Mr. Pasco is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Colorado and Nebraska. He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington, and earned a M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics and a J.D. degree from the University of Nebraska.

× Bill OConner
Bill O'Conner

Bill O'Conner joined the firm of Watkinson Miller PLLC in 2010, bringing with him more than three decades of experience in the legislative and executive branches of government. During that time, he was one of the key policy staffers in the development and passage of five farm bills, three laws to restructure and reform the Farm Credit System, and the entire legislative development of the federal crop insurance program.

He also played a key role in the legislative evolution of futures and derivatives regulation from the 1980's through House passage of the most recent financial services reform in 2009. He continues to follow closely the implementation of the Dodd - Frank Act and the huge number of regulations that are being promulgated to implement that Act. He was at the center of legislation regulating pesticides, including the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. He has played a major legislative role in all of the diverse legislation in the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee from forestry to food stamps and tobacco to trade.

× Beth Hughes
Beth Hughes
Senior Director of International Affairs, International Dairy Foods Association

Beth Hughes is responsible for supporting the association's efforts on international trade and import and export issues. She also oversees IDFA's trade committee, as well as programming for the annual International Sweetener Colloquium. In collaboration with other dairy and food industry associations, Hughes has worked with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to promote and protect U.S. dairy interests in free trade agreements and held briefings on Capitol Hill about the importance of preserving the use of common food names.

Before joining IDFA, Hughes served for five years as manager of international policy for the USA Rice Federation. She developed and implemented international trade policy and promotion activities to support the U.S. rice industry and help small- and medium-sized U.S. enterprises in overseas export markets. She also analyzed domestic and international rice trends and prepared comments relating to non-tariff and technical barriers, such as sanitary and phytosanitary barriers.

Hughes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at George Washington University and received a Master of Arts in international affairs from Florida State University.

    
× Ron Sterk
Ron Sterk
Senior Editor, Markets, Sosland Publishing

Ron Sterk is senior editor, markets, for Food Business News and Milling & Baking News, and is editor of the Sosland Sweetener Report. Prior to joining Sosland Publishing Company in 2003, he was involved in market coverage and management for several years for the real-time news services of Knight-Ridder Financial Information, Bridge Information Services and Futures World News. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism with a focus in agronomy from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in business from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.

× Barb Fecso
Barbara Fecso
Director, Dairy and Sweetener Analysis Group, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Title and Responsibilities: Director, Dairy and Sweeteners Analysis Staff, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose main focus is on administering the domestic sugar, dairy and livestock programs. She provides guidance in the formulation and implementation of national sugar, dairy and livestock policies and procedures, as well as economic and budgetary impact analysis of those programs. She also implements sugar-related disaster programs.

Work Experience: Barbara has almost twenty five years of government service in USDA with an emphasis on program analysis, operations and budgetary analysis. She initially spent five years with NRCS as a program analyst for conservation technical assistance, watershed and animal waste management programs. She then spent two years as a wheat and pulse crop analyst at the Farm Service Agency before shifting to sugar.

Education: Barbara received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana in 1994.

Background: She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and lived for almost twenty years in central Illinois. She has three children and now lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband.

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DPFSW
DPFS_180x140
  • Overview
  • Agenda
  • February | Kansas City, MO
  • April | Seattle, WA
  • May | Baraboo, WI
  • October | Wilbraham, MA
  • The Dairy Plant Food Safety Workshop is designed to help dairy processing facilities improve pathogen control practices including PEM, sanitation, and sanitary design. The workshop was designed by dairy industry professionals for the benefit of the industry through the non-profit Innovation Center for US Dairy. The instructors are food safety leaders from companies across the dairy industry who share their knowledge and experiences to advance food safety across the industry. The training includes lectures and hands-on exercises:

    • Pathogen Environmental Monitoring (PEM), Swabbing, Vectoring, Corrective Actions, and Record Keeping
    • Best practices for GMPs, Floors, Separation of Raw and Ready-to-Eat (RTE)
    • Introduction to Pathogen Microbiology Sanitary design, Sanitation, SSOP Development
    • Pathogen Environmental Monitoring (PEM), Swabbing, Vectoring, Corrective Actions, and Record Keeping

    This is an interactive session where you will learn from multiple instructors as well as by interacting with your peers from other companies. Small group exercises will reinforce and allow practice on evaluating equipment, swabbing techniques, PEM plans, and developing SSOPs.

    Who Should Participate
    This workshop has been designed for all employees who are involved with pathogen-control programs, regardless of their titles or current roles. Attendees include plant managers, production supervisors, sanitation, engineering, maintenance, and all levels of corporate/plant quality.

    2019 Workshops
    February 12-13, 2019  |  Kansas City, MO
    April 3-4, 2019  |  Seattle, WA
    May 21-22, 2019  | Baraboo, WI
    October 22-23, 2019  |  Wilbraham, MA

     


        

    Schedule is subject to change.

    Day One
    7:30 AM 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
    Registration & Continental Breakfast
    8:00 AM

    8:00 AM - Noon
    Workshop 

    • Workshop Overview / Dairy Outbreaks
    • Almost Perfect
    • Pathogen Equation
    • Exercise: Pathogen-Control Program (PCP)
    • Experiences with the PCP Program
    Noon Noon - 1:00 PM
    Lunch
    1:00 PM 1:00 - 5:00 PM
    Workshop
    • Microbiology and Testing Approaches
    • Best Practices for Control Mapping PEM Program Results Model Programs (PEM, Corrective Actions)
    • Swabbing Protocols
    • FSMA Record Expectations / Corrective Action Communication
    • Sanitary Design of Equipment
    • Case Study - Step Change
    • Exercise: Swab Site
    • Wrap Up Question & Answer with Panel
    5:00 PM 5:00 PM
    Adjourn
    Day Two
    7:30 AM 7:30 - 8:00 AM
    Registration & Continental Breakfast 
    8:00 AM 8:00 AM - Noon
    Workshop
    • Exercise: Equipment Design Review & Monitoring
    • Salmonella Controls
    • Cleaning Using a Defined Process
    • Corrective Action Exercise & Report Out
    Noon Noon - 1:00 PM 
    Lunch
    1:00 PM 1:00 - 3:00 PM
    Workshop
    • Cleaning Procedures and Validation SSOP Development
    • Exercise: Create SSOP with Frequency, Tools, Validation and Verification
    • Best Practices
    • Wrap Up Question & Answer with Panel

    3:00 PM

    3:00 PM 
    Adjourn
    February 12-13, 2019  |  Kansas City, MO

    Registration Fee: $495

    The fastest and easiest way to register is
    online. If a paper form is required to submit a check payment, please download the registration form.


    Workshop Location
    Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City – International Airport
    7640 NW Tiffany Springs Parkway
    Kansas City, MO 64153

    Hotel
    Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City – International Airport
    7640 NW Tiffany Springs Parkway
    Kansas City, MO 64153

    Room Rate: Single $139.00; Double $149.00 per night plus applicable taxes
    Reservation Deadline: January 21, 2019
    Group Code: Dairy Innovation Center Food Safety
    Online Reservations

    Cancellation Policy

    Registration cancellations received in writing will be accepted up t0 three week prior to the workshop. Cancellations received one to three weeks before the workshop will be eligible for a 50-percent refund. Your workshop registration fee is non-refundable within one week of the workshop. Substitutions may be made without penalty. All cancellations and substitutions must be received in writing at registrar@idfa.org.

    Questions
    If you have questions or need assistance with the registration process, please contact IDFA at 202-737-4332 or registrar@idfa.org.

    April 3-4, 2019  |  Seattle, WA
    Registration Fee: $495

    The fastest and easiest way to register is online. If a paper form is required to submit a check payment, please download the registration form.


    Workshop Location
    Embassy Suites Hotel Seattle Bellevue
    3225 158th Avenue SE
    Bellevue, WA 98008

    Hotel
    Embassy Suites Hotel Seattle Bellevue
    3225 158th Avenue SE
    Bellevue, WA 98008

    Hotel reservation information will be available shortly.

    Cancellation Policy
    Registration cancellations received in writing will be accepted up t0 three week prior to the workshop. Cancellations received one to three weeks before the workshop will be eligible for a 50-percent refund. Your workshop registration fee is non-refundable within one week of the workshop. Substitutions may be made without penalty. All cancellations and substitutions must be received in writing at registrar@idfa.org.

    Questions
    If you have questions or need assistance with the registration process, please contact IDFA at 202-737-4332 or registrar@idfa.org.

    May 21-22, 2019  |  Baraboo, WI
    Registration Fee: $495

    The fastest and easiest way to register is online. If a paper form is required to submit a check payment, please download the registration form.

     

    Workshop Location
    Foremost Farms
    E 10889 Penny Lane
    Baraboo, WI  53913

    Hotel
    Hotel information will be available shortly.

    Cancellation Policy
    Registration cancellations received in writing will be accepted up t0 three week prior to the workshop. Cancellations received one to three weeks before the workshop will be eligible for a 50-percent refund. Your workshop registration fee is non-refundable within one week of the workshop. Substitutions may be made without penalty. All cancellations and substitutions must be received in writing at registrar@idfa.org.

    Questions
    If you have questions or need assistance with the registration process, please contact IDFA at 202-737-4332 or registrar@idfa.org.

    October 22-23, 2019  |  Wilbraham, MA
    Registration Fee: $495

    The fastest and easiest way to register is online. If a paper form is required to submit a check payment, please download the registration form.

     

    Workshop Location
    Workshop information will be available shortly.

    Hotel
    Hotel information will be available shortly.

    Cancellation Policy
    Registration cancellations received in writing will be accepted up t0 three week prior to the workshop. Cancellations received one to three weeks before the workshop will be eligible for a 50-percent refund. Your workshop registration fee is non-refundable within one week of the workshop. Substitutions may be made without penalty. All cancellations and substitutions must be received in writing at registrar@idfa.org.

    Questions
    If you have questions or need assistance with the registration process, please contact IDFA at 202-737-4332 or registrar@idfa.org.