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MDARD's Rebecca Vought Elected Chair of National Conference for Food Protection

For immediate release: November 5, 2021

LANSING, MI — Rebecca Vought, food safety specialist for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Food and Dairy Division’s Local Health Services and Emergency Response Unit, was recently elected chair of the Conference for Food Protection (CFP) at its biennial meeting. Vought’s term runs from 2021 through 2023.

“I am honored to represent Michigan on a national stage to help protect consumers, businesses and our nation’s food supply,” said Vought. “The CFP unites regulators, food and agriculture industry members, consumers and academics who share a common interest in the safe delivery of food in retail settings. Serving as chair will allow me to provide leadership and guidance to CFP to continue the work of strengthening and improving food protection efforts.”

The CFP is a non-profit organization created in 1971 to provide a formal process for members of industry, regulatory organizations, academia, consumers, and professional organizations to provide equal input in the development and modification of food safety guidance. Guidance developed through the CFP is incorporated into food safety laws and regulations at all levels of government throughout the U.S.

“Being elected chair of the CFP is a true tribute to Becky’s dedication to improving food safety in Michigan and beyond,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “MDARD is proud to have her as a part of the Food and Dairy Division team and pleased to see her recognized by her peers from across the nation. Becky will continue to represent Michigan well as she welcomes all to the table who wish to play a role in establishing and improving food safety regulations in the U.S.”

Vought has been with MDARD since 2008 and is responsible for performing accreditations, standardizations, consultations, and trainings for Michigan’s 45 local health departments. Vought is also responsible for providing specialized food processing consultation statewide, which includes model documents and trainings for both regulators and industry members. She is a past president of both the Northern Michigan Environmental Health Association and the Great Lake Conference on Food Protection and has been actively involved in the CFP since 2010 as an issue submitter and through service on various CFP council committees. Since 2016, Vought has been an executive board member for the CFP and most recently the issue chair for the 2018-2020 Biennium. Vought holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Central Michigan University where she specialized in microbiology, genetics, and environmental science.

Prior to joining MDARD, Vought worked for six years at the Central Michigan District Health Department where she was actively involved in the agency’s environmental health programs. Vought is the proud parent of four children and resides in Higgins Lake with her husband and younger children.

For more information on the CFP, visit

Photo: Rebecca Vought