In an effort to begin the collaborative process of addressing and advancing issues related to animal welfare and sustainability, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs (US-RSPE) and the International Poultry Welfare Alliance (IPWA) have selected Ryan Bennett to lead both organizations as their new executive director beginning Sept. 4. Bennett formerly served as the senior director of industry and environmental affairs at the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) where he managed the National Dairy Farmer’s Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, which evaluates animal care, antibiotic use, environmental stewardship and worker health and safety on 98 percent of the milk supply in the United States.
“The poultry and egg value chain have an amazing animal care and sustainability story to share with the world,” said Ryan Bennett. “In order to reach our full potential, we need the entire food chain – from farm to fork – to pull together to define success, evaluate against common benchmarks and communicate our progress in a meaningful and transparent way.”
Through Bennett’s leadership at the NMPF, he broadened the scope of the FARM Program from an animal care program to become a full on-farm platform that incorporates environmental sustainability and worker welfare components. Under his guidance, the FARM Program has become one of the largest on-farm environmental sustainability reporting programs in just more than a year. Bennett also ensured broad stakeholder engagement through the program development process by bringing together academics, veterinarians, dairy industry thought leaders, environmental NGOs, farmers and sustainability specialists.
Before working on the FARM Program, Bennett led the NMPF’s government relations portfolio pertaining to environment, conservation and renewable energy, where he brought diverse stakeholders together to find new ways to finance on-farm conservation projects such as advanced manure treatment systems that improve water quality and monetize the nutrients produced on dairy farms. Bennett previously worked at the National Grain and Feed Association where he managed issues related to conservation and transportation in the grain trading industry.
“We are pleased that Ryan will be leading the US-RSPE and IPWA as the new executive director. With his extensive experience leading many successful programs with NMPF, his passion for agriculture and his keen sense for continuous improvement in sustainability and animal welfare initiatives, we believe that Ryan will be an excellent leader to spearhead these new organizations,” said US-RSPE and IPWA search committee members.
Both organizations look forward to Bennett’s leadership and efforts to connect diverse stakeholders and leaders within the poultry and egg value chain. In his new role, Bennett will build membership through recruitment within the shared value chain constituency groups for both organizations, including production and processing, retail and food service, allied industry, and research and civil society. He will specifically be recruiting members based in the USA for the US-RSPE. Bennett will also engage with poultry value chain stakeholders to recruit both USA and international companies and individuals for IPWA membership. Due to the joint structure of US-RSPE and IPWA, members will have the benefit of participating in both organizations while only paying one membership fee.