NARA announces Don Franco award winner

NARA announces Don Franco award winner.

The North American Renderers Association (NARA) is pleased to announce that the 2022 “Don Franco Distinguished Service Award” has been presented to Dr. David Meeker, Ph.D., M.B.A., for his leadership and longtime commitment to the rendering industry, NARA and the association’s research and related programs.

The Don Franco Distinguished Service Award is NARA’s highest honor. It recognizes truly outstanding work on behalf of the rendering industry in science, policy, marketing or communications and is presented to a member, staff or friend of the North American Renderers Association for their exceptional contribution and service on behalf of the rendering industry.

Dr. Meeker serves as senior vice president of scientific services for NARA. He is the scientific and technical advisor to the North American rendering industry on science, animal disease and feed safety issues. He also serves as research director for The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF), the association’s research arm. In his role as FPRF research director, he has been instrumental to programs and research conducted by the foundation to include designing the plan for NARA to manage FPRF for increased administrative efficiencies and assisting in expanding the foundation’s donor base.

Over the past three decades, Dr. Meeker has been an advisor to numerous governmental, professional and business organizations in the U.S. and internationally. He is past president of the U.S. Animal Health Association, a member of the scientific advisory panel of the World Renderers Organization (WRO). He is also a former member of the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health.

At NARA he launched and managed multiple successful programs and projects and has navigated the association through numerous negotiations including FDA rulemaking for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), as well as rulemaking for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). He helped to guide NARA and its members through several salmonella, poultry and swine diseases unfairly being blamed on rendered products and also initiated a collaborative research effort that resulted in the creation of the Pet Food Alliance.

Dr. Meeker will be retiring on December 31, 2022. In his retirement he looks forward to enjoying time with his family, traveling, consulting, biking and “slowing down.”

The Don Franco award was presented to Dr. Meeker at NARA’s recent 2022 Annual Convention in Dana Point, California.


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