October 2021 Snapshots
Rigby and Burley, Idaho
On October 7, FSIS leadership met with inspection personnel at two Denver District establishments to talk about career advancement opportunities and work-life balance, as well as staffing and hiring options for assignments that require working long hours.
Pictured, from left: Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jared Johnson and Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) Richard Lee. Johnson and Lee are assigned to a meat and poultry slaughter and processing plant in Rigby.
Pictured, from left: FSIS leadership with inspectors assigned to a meat slaughter and processing plant in Burley. FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker, Frontline Supervisor Dr. Amber Talley, Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Witte, Food Inspector Ron Yoshida, CSI Oscar Chavez and Food Inspector Elizabeth Lockyer.
Photos by an establishment employee.
Kansas City, Kan.
Administrator Paul Kiecker (pictured, second row, right) and Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Witte (pictured, seated, center) joined Topeka Circuit inspection personnel during their work unit meeting on Oct. 14. Kiecker previously held the District Manager role for this circuit years before becoming the head of FSIS. During the visit, Kiecker, Witte and the team discussed staffing, trainings, attending Agency-wide events, the exceptional job the team has done communicating and covering each other’s leave the last year, and the benefits of using technology to stay connected with each other.
Pictured, seated, from left: Consumer Safety Inspectors (CSI) Kimberly Francisco, Witte and CSI Robert Swoboda. Pictured, standing, from left: CSIs Steve Root and Rhonda Barrett, Frontline Supervisor Dr. Gary Welcher, CSI Gene Wolken and Administrator Kiecker. Photo by company employee.
Administrator Paul Kiecker (pictured, left) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) leadership met with District Managers (DM) during the DM annual meeting Sept. 21 – 23. This was the first time the group has been able to meet since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The gathering allowed everyone to discuss changes that affect the Agency and inspection personnel, such as inspection modernization, staffing, regulatory policies and COVID-19 safety protocols.
Pictured, from left: Kiecker, Regulatory Operations Project Manager Brett Filloon, Executive Associate for Regulatory Operations (EARO) Sherri Johnson, OFO Assistant Administrator (AA) Dr. Philip Bronstein, Jackson DM Dr. Larry Davis, Chicago DM Dr. Donald Fickey, Springdale DM Jeffery Barham, Alameda DM William Griffin, OFO Deputy AA Dr. Hany Sidrak, Dallas DM Dr. Jennifer Beasley McKean, EARO Melissa Moore, Philadelphia DM Dr. Lynda Lilyestrom, Des Moines DM Dr. Dawn Sprouls, EARO Gerri French, Raleigh Deputy DM Dr. Arial Thompson, Atlanta DM Dr. Phyllis Adams, EARO Paul Wolseley and Denver DM Dr. Robert Reeder. Photo by Natoya Cameron, OFO.
Kansas City, Mo.
On Oct. 14, Administrator Paul Kiecker and Office of Field Operations’ National Humane Handling Enforcement Coordinator Dr. Quita Bowman Blackwell (not pictured) presented at the Animal Care and Handling Conference for the Food Industry. The event began in 1999 and offers animal welfare educational opportunities for meat companies, their customers and those involved in the production and management of livestock and meat products.
Kiecker and Bowman Blackwell discussed humane handling requirements, summarized the humane handling inspection tasks performed by FSIS inspection program personnel, and posting of humane handling datasets to the FSIS website. Kiecker thanked industry for their efforts in following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidance on masking, which provides safer working conditions. Photo by Robert Witte, OA.
On Oct. 8, Administrator Paul Kiecker met with inspection personnel in Boise, Idaho, to speak about staffing, methods for attracting new employees in a high cost of living area, and new flexibilities FSIS got for line personnel to use the two-hour administrative leave between Oct. 8 and Nov. 20. Back row, pictured from left: Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) Dan Cline, Food Inspector (FI) Bret Lee, FI Russell Ward. Front row, pictured from left: FI Kaleah Brown, FI Adriana Cardenas, FI Marjorie Estes, Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV) Dr. Lyndsey Mitchell, CSI Erica Gasper, Kiecker, and SPHV Dr. Tyler Senft. Photo by Robert Witte, OA.
On Oct. 8, Administrator Paul Kiecker worked the line and helped give breaks before speaking with inspection personnel and answering questions during the company break. Photo by Robert Witte, OA.
Behind the scenes of a turkey thawing video for an Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) series of Thanksgiving food safety videos. Pictured, from left: Wendy Mihm, Kenneth King, Chelsea Anderson, Alejandra Giraldo and Laura Scott, all with OPACE. Photo courtesy of Meredith Carothers, OPACE.
Pictured, from left: Kenneth King waits to step into the frame as Alejandra Giraldo and Laura Scott set up to film a shot. Photo courtesy of Meredith Carothers, OPACE.
OPACE staffers pose with the star of the Thanksgiving food safety video shoot: the turkey! Pictured, from left: Alejandra Giraldo, Chelsea Anderson, Meredith Carothers, Wendy Mihm, Laura Scott and Kenneth King. Photo courtesy of Meredith Carothers, OPACE.
On October 5, Administrator Paul Kiecker met with staff from the Office of Management’s (OM) Human Resources Operations Division (HROD) to discuss new ways FSIS can attract, hire and retain inspection personnel. Pictured back row (left to right): Staffing and Classification Branch Chief Dan Hanowski; Kiecker, Classification Specialists James Brewer and Jessica Swanberg; and Chief Human Capital Officer Joseph Abbott, OM. Front row (left to right): Classification Specialist Kathy Peterson, HROD Director Laura Frantes; and Classification Specialist Jerry Button. Classification Section Chief Millicent Lawson, not pictured, participated in the meeting virtually. Photo by Robert Witte, OA.