Eric Nelson came to CVM with over thirty years of agriculture experience. This experience has covered the entire spectrum, including agricultural research, product and regulatory controls.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Eric conducted research in soil fertility and marketing of special purpose soil amendments. After graduation Eric managed a farrowing operation producing gilts for selective breeding operations. Soon after, Eric moved into the cooperative system providing technical support to livestock and crop producers. Eric moved from technical support to branch management, including feed manufacturing and pesticide application services. eventually moved into facility management for a privately held feed manufacturing operations with distribution in 14 states.
Eric left industry to pursue a career in the regulatory sciences with the UW as a hazardous materials manager. UW led to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP). With WDATCP, Eric managed multiple programs, including commercial feed, pesticide safety and the multi-agency Toxic Response Team. Work with commercial feed and toxic response led to involvement with the Association of American Feed Control Officials, (AAFCO) and FDA. AAFCO became a large part of Eric’s life when he joined the board of directors, ultimately becoming the association president in 2007, just in time for the melamine outbreak that would lead to many rewarding challenges. On behalf of AAFCO, Eric testified in the U.S. Senate on the challenges and limitations of regulatory controls for pet food and other animal feed. This outbreak and session of testimonies lead Senator Richard Durbin, to draft and champion the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Late in 2008, Eric accepted a position with CVM’s Division of Compliance as a Consumer Safety Officer, leading compliance efforts with pet food and other animal feed, the Animal Feed Safety System (AFSS), as well as developing policy and direction for FDA. After a little more than a year, Eric moved into a leadership position with the newly formed Post-Market Compliance Team, covering CVM enforcement for drugs, devices and foods as well as policy and regulation development. February of 2011, Eric stepped up as the Director of the Division of Compliance, within the Office of Surveillance and Compliance, a role he continues today.