NARA executive Meeker to retire from career in animal agriculture at year’s end
After a lifetime in the animal-agriculture industry, and more than 18 years at the North American Renderers Association (formerly National Renderers Association), David L. Meeker, senior vice president of NARA and director of research for the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation, is retiring at the end of the year.
Meeker previously served in scientific and management positions at the National Turkey Federation and National Pork Producers Council. He was also director of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academy of Sciences and an associate professor at The Ohio State University.
Over the past three decades, he 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 and a member of the scientific advisory panel of the World Renderers Organization. Meeker is also a former member of the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health.
During his time with NARA, he served as the scientific and technical advisor to the North American rendering industry on science, animal disease and feed-safety issues. Meeker also served as director of research for NARA’s research arm, FPRF.
In his role as FPRF research director, Meeker was instrumental in 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.
Meeker has launched and managed multiple programs and projects during his tenure at NARA. He has successfully navigated the association through numerous negotiations including FDA rulemaking concerning bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), as well as rulemaking for the Food Safety Modernization Act. He helped to guide NARA and its members through several salmonella, poultry and swine diseases unfairly being blamed on rendered products and initiated a collaborative research effort that resulted in the creation of the Pet Food Alliance.
“Dr. Meeker’s work has been instrumental to our organization,” said Kent Swisher, president and CEO of NARA and FPRF. “We appreciate his time and dedication to NARA and FPRF and wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Meeker said, “Working for renderers at NARA has been the best of all the roles I’ve had in science and agriculture. I will miss the day-to-day relationships with the wonderful people of this industry, and its stakeholders.”
In his retirement Meeker looks forward to enjoying time with his family, traveling, consulting, biking, and “slowing down.”
Meeker’s last day will be Dec. 31.
NARA leadership has selected a replacement for the position who will take over the role after Meeker departs in December. NARA will issue an official announcement of the selection before the end of the year.