Eula M. Savoie, founder and President of Savoie’s Sausage and Food Products Inc. of Opelousas, La., died January 6. Born Aug. 13, 1926, “Miss Eula,” as she was known to employees, friends and business associates, entered the business world when she and her husband purchased a small community grocery store along the Little Teche Bayou, just southeast of Opelousas, La., in 1949.

Around 1955, she began making smoked sausage and boudin and selling her products in her country store. She credited her mother with the recipes she used. This was the beginning of what would become a thriving Cajun foods business. Savoie’s sausage and boudin proved to be a huge success and were soon followed by the equally successful Rice Dressing Mix, Andouille, Pork Tasso, Roux and more.

Today, Savoie’s food products can be found in retail food stores in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. The company’s Andouille and Roux enjoy nationwide retail and foodservice distribution to restaurants. Savoie’s Cajun Food Products are produced in two Federal/USDA inspected facilities.

Eula Savoie, who grew up speaking both Cajun French and English, remained a powerful advocate and defender of Cajun traditions — particularly Cajun culinary traditions. Over the last 55 years, her leadership was recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious the "2001 Entrepreneur of the Year Award" from Ernst and Young.

She is survived by her two children and three grand children.

Source: Savoie's Sausage and Food Products Inc.

Japan bans Texas poultry on avian flu fears

Japan has banned imports of poultry and eggs from Texas after tests showed a possible case of avian influenza in a flock of ducks in the state. The ban went into affect for all birds slaughtered as of Dec. 1.

The Texas Animal Health Commission restricted movement of about 1,000 domesticated ducks in north-central Texas after routine tests at an associated live bird market found a “weak positive” for avian flu, reports Bloomberg. The ducks were not part of a commercial flock, and no critical illnesses at the market or in the flock have been discovered.

Source: Bloomberg, Business Week

Poultry group opposes Chesapeake Bay protection bill

Delmarva Poultry Industry, which represents poultry farmers, processors and employees is claiming that maryland Sen. Ben Cardin's Chesapeake Restoration bill is unfair to the poultry industry. The group claims that the bill, which would put into law binding pollution reduction goals and penalties for failing to meet them, puts the Delmarva poultry farmers at a disadvantage, because they would face more regulation than the rest of the country.

The Delmarva Poultry Industry supports a reauthorization of the current program. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which supports the bill, accused the group of making false and misleading claims about the bill. The Foundation also pointed out that the bill has additional funding for farmers to cut pollution.

Source: Associated Press

Hormel CEO to speak at NMA Meeting

National Meat Association has today confirmed that Hormel President and CEO Jeffrey Ettinger will address its members at the NMA Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 13 from 8:30am to 10:30am. Ettinger, who has been CEO since 2006 and president since 2004, originally joined Hormel Foods in 1989 as corporate attorney. As well as serving as president and CEO of Hormel, Ettinger is currently the Chairman of the American Meat Institute. He will speak on his history with the company, the outstanding success of Hormel in the value-added packaged foods sector and the company’s continued innovation.

NMA’s 64th Annual Convention will be held at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, CA (20 minutes from the Palm Springs airport) on February 10-13, 2010. The convention will also include roundtables of experts with insight on food safety, strategic planning, and workplace topics. For complete details visit the NMA events page at

Source: NMA

U.S. Grains Council names Keith Heffernan senior vice president

Keith Heffernan will serve as senior vice president of operations and industry relations of the Washington, D.C., based U.S. Grains Council. Heffernan was formerly the chief of staff for the Farm Credit Administration. He accepted the charge to assist in leading the country’s largest export market development organization for barley, corn, sorghum and their co-products.

USGC President and CEO Thomas C. Dorr said Heffernan’s experience working in producer-run organizations is invaluable.

"Keith has a long history of service to U.S. producers through trade organizations. He understands the challenges and offers creative solutions," said Dorr. "The members of the Council will have a leader that truly values producer and agribusiness involvement."

As chief of staff for Farm Credit Administration, Heffernan coordinated the development and implementation of the agency’s strategic operating and budget plans and activities. Heffernan was the first executive director for the Iowa Corn Growers Association; director of public affairs for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; assistant director for the Center of Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University; and chief of staff for USDA’s Rural Development.

Source: U.S. Grains Council