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Utah officials get 'Hammer' recognition

Cary Peterson, commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and division director Kyle Stephens have received Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award for eliminating duplicated government services.

Ten other Western and Midwestern states also received the award for entering into a partnership with the federal government to strengthen food safety programs for dairy products while cutting the overall costs at the same time.In the past, the federal Food and Drug Administration did its own field compliance programs to conduct inspections, collect samples and investigate complaints regarding the dairy industry. These efforts often duplicated the work done by state and local jurisdictions in dairy processing plants.

Now federal and state agencies cooperate to protect consumers from tainted dairy products, reduce unnecessary inspections for the dairy industry and save money.