Association of Food and Drug Officials

Fellowship in Food Protection Program

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Association of Food and Drug Officials

POSITION STATEMENT

May 12, 2011

John Young, Chairman
AFDO Endowment Foundation
861 White Gates Lane
Stowe, VT  05672

Dear John:

The Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) is welcoming to our 115th Annual Education Conference in Plano, Texas, the first graduating class of the “Fellowship in Food Protection” Program sponsored by the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI).  The IFPTI Program entitled, “Applied Science, Law, and Policy: Fellowship in Food Protection,” is designed to provide experienced regulatory professionals, from all areas of food protection, with critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills within the framework of Food Regulatory Science, Law, and Policy.  This Program is a series of six seminars (three days each) held in Battle Creek, Michigan, over the course of one year.  

The seminars are:
1) Law
2) Policies, Strategies, and Tools
3) Labeling
4) Benchmarking in Science
5) Process Controls Theories
6) Prevention, Intervention, and Response

There are 10 graduating Fellows this year, and they will be part of the Conference Program as follows:

1) Each Fellow has conducted a research project during the year which will be displayed in a Poster Session during the Conference.

2) The Fellows will make presentations of their research projects at various Committee Meetings on Sunday, June 19, 2011, and one Fellow will present his/her research project during the General Session on Monday, June 20, 2011.

3) All of the research projects will be published in a special edition of the AFDO Journal.

4) All Fellows will have their travel, conference registration and tickets to the Monday Night Event, Burditt Luncheon, and Awards Banquet paid by AFDO.  Funds for this are covered through end-of-grant monies remaining from IFPTI.

5) The Fellows and their Mentors will be specially recognized during the Opening Session on Sunday, June 19, 2011.
 
AFDO recognizes some very real opportunities with the Fellowship Program, not least of which is a source of attracting new and emerging leaders into AFDO from state and local government agencies. The Fellows have been well briefed about AFDO, as all 5 Fellowship Mentors are former AFDO Presidents (Dan Sowards, Steve Steinhoff, Jim Sevchik, Joe Corby, and Jerry Wojtala).  While AFDO has funding for the Fellows this year, we currently do not have funding for future years. We believe the Endowment Foundation should consider future funding to continue bringing these new leaders to the Conference and into AFDO.

In response to your questions from your May 8, 2011, e-mail, please be advised as follows:

1) How would AFDO track the recipients?  AFDO is well-entrenched with IFPTI in this project and, while I am not aware of exactly what IFPTI will do for tracking the Fellows, I do assume that an alumni group of some sort will be developed.  Some of the graduating Fellows have expressed interest in participating in future Fellowship Programs, and this idea is being explored.  I am not aware of any tracking that was done for any of the previous officials the Endowment Foundation funded to the Annual Conference.

2) What skill sets determines whether individuals are future leaders permitting them to participate in the Fellowship Program?  Nominees are first nominated by their Supervisor as a “future leader”.  Applications are scrutinized by IFPTI, along with the 5 Mentors, and grades are then assigned to the applicants.  Next year, 13 individuals have been selected to participate in the Fellowship Program.

3) How many years is AFDO requesting the Foundation to fund the Fellows?  While we think this is a great long-term funding opportunity for the Endowment Foundation, we feel it might be best, at least initially, to do this one year at a time.

This is not only an important funding effort for AFDO, but it is a clear expression of strong support for the profession of food safety officials.

I look forward to meeting with the Foundation in Dallas/Plano, Texas.

Sincerely,

Joseph Corby
AFDO Executive Director

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