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New VMO Rhyner Becomes USDA's Latest Outlier



The United States Department of Agriculture was notified on multiple occasions this year regarding the performance of a new VMO, Aaron Rhyner, placed in the field in July.  Rhyner, despite limited training was sent by USDA management to 6 of the 39 shows the USDA attended prior to the Celebration.  Rhyner was filmed and documented as he utilized improper inspection techniques and that information was turned over to USDA.

In the 33 shows Rhyner did not attend, USDA VMOs took information on a potential 20 bilateral sensitivity violations out of 3,548 entries or 0.5%.  At those same 33 shows, USDA VMOs took information on 35 potential unilateral sensitivity violations or 1%.  It is important to note, the information is taken on a subjective inspection process, however that process is clearly defined as part of the HPA and training material.

However, in the six shows Rhyner attended and functioned as the VMO those numbers skyrocketed.  In only 849 entries at those six shows, Rhyner and his crew took information on a potential 11 bilateral violations or 1.3%.  In those same six shows, Rhyner’s crew took information on 24 potential unilateral violations or 2.8%.  So in only 15% of the shows USDA VMOs attended, Rhyner took information on 39% of the total potential sensitivity violations.

Dr. Chester Gipson was made aware of the problems with Rhyner and his inspection technique prior to The Celebration however he still sent Rhyner, with less than two months experience to The Celebration.  Also, the USDA was also made aware of the improper palpation technique of Dr. Bart Sutherland prior to The Celebration but also sent him as part of the Celebration crew of VMOs.

Of the information taken on potential sensitivity violations at The Celebration, Rhyner took the information an astounding 41% of the time and the combination of Rhyner and Sutherland took the information an unbelievable 69% of the time.  By contrast, Dr. Jeff Baker, who is the head VMO in the field with years of experience took information on 12.5% of the potential sensitivity violations.
 

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