OFPA convention set for April 3-4

March 6, 2012
Contact Information:

Ozark Food Processors Association, 479-575-4607 / ofpa@uark.edu and

Dave Edmark, Division of Agriculture communications
479-575-5647 / dedmark@uark.edu

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. – “Healthy Food Trend: Keeping Your Products Competitive” is the theme of the 106th Ozark Food Processors Association Convention and Exposition to be held April 3 and 4. Preregistration is $50 per person, which includes workshops, educational sessions, the exposition and the reception. Participants may register online at http://ofpa.uark.edu/convention.htm.

The activities begin with a golf tournament at 9 a.m. April 3 at Shadow Valley Country Club in Rogers. Events move on April 4 to the Holiday Inn Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale where there will be a business breakfast at 7:30 a.m. The educational session will feature several presentations during the morning following welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m. by Mark Cochran, University of Arkansas System vice president for agriculture. The schedule is:

• "Walmart Healthy Food Initiative" at 8:45 a.m. by Joe Quinn, Wal-Mart Stores senior director for issue management and strategic outreach;

• "Quality Control for Healthy Foods: Why the Label Is as Important as the Contents" at 9:30 a.m. by Maureen Dolan, assistant professor at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at Arkansas State University;

• "Child Nutrition and the Food Industry" at 10:30 a.m. by Jamie Baum, UA assistant professor of food science;

• "Tyson's Approach to the Healthy Food Trend" at 11:15 a.m. by Karen Shank, Tyson Foods nutrition manager.

Four workshops are scheduled for the afternoon of April 4. Registrants can earn Continuing Education Certification hours for the Research Chefs Association. The workshops are:

• "Raw Products and Crop Protection" from 1 to 5 p.m. moderated by William Russell of Allen's, Inc.;

• "Building Healthier Foods" from 1 to 2 p.m. moderated by Cinda Stricklen of ConAgra Foods;

• "Exploring Healthy Foods" from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. moderated by Jean-Francois Meullenet, head of the UA Department of Food Science;

• "Discovering Flavors" from 4 to 5 p.m. moderated by Susan Shivas of Tyson Foods.

Lunch will be available from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the annual food processing exposition that continues to 6:30 p.m. featuring more than 60 exhibits showcasing products, services and equipment for the food processing industry. A reception is scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m.