2020 MCAFDO Annual Educational Conference & Environmental Sample Training Workshop

February 24-26, 2020
Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas – Hotel, Spa & Convention Center
3303 Pinnacle Hills Parkway
Rogers, Arkansas 72758
Phone: (479) 254-8400


The 2020 Mid-Continental Association of Food and Drugs Officials (MCAFDO) Annual Educational Conference (AEC) will be held February 25-26, 2020.  In addition, MCAFDO is partnering with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) to provide a workshop related to collecting environmental samples in retail food establishments when investigating foodborne illness outbreaks.  The environmental sampling workshop will be held on Monday, February 24, 2020 and will last from 8:00 am to approximately 4:30 pm.  The workshop will include classroom presentation as well as a field experience demonstration of environmental sample collections in a real kitchen with real sampling materials.  The workshop will be limited to a maximum of 36 individuals and will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.  Registrations for the Environmental Sampling Workshop must be made in advance and walk-in registrations will only be accepted on a space availability basis.  A workshop agenda is provided at the bottom of this webpage for download and viewing.

The Heartland Food Safety Roundtable meeting will also be hosted and held on Monday, February 24, 2020 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The Heartland Food Safety Roundtable meeting consists of State, Local, Regional, and/or Federal regulatory personnel as well as representatives from industry such as food manufacturers (human food and animal food), retail food establishments, and/or food service establishments.  The Heartland Food Safety Roundtable is an open forum meeting for hot topics, issues, and updates in the world of food safety for local and national food industry and regulatory professionals.  No registration is required for attending the Heartland Food Safety Roundtable meeting.  A flyer for the roundtable meeting is provided at the bottom of this webpage for download and viewing.

Following you will find information about the conference and sampling workshop location and transportation tips.

General Information:

Individuals registering to attend the environmental sampling workshop in conjunction with the conference are authorized to travel on Sunday, February 23, 2020 and return home on Thursday, February 27, 2020.  Individuals attending the conference only are authorized to travel on Monday, February 24, 2020 and return home on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Funding Opportunities:

MCAFDO has re-applied for the FDA’s Scientific Small Conference Grant.  Grant funds were recently awarded and MCAFDO intends to offer scholarship funding to eligible State and/or Local (non-federal employees) agencies to aid and assist with travel costs.  Upon request and availability of funds, eligible agencies and/or individuals can request reimbursement for travel costs in conjunction with the 2020 MCAFDO Conference and Environmental Sampling Workshop.  Scholarships for reimbursement of travel costs would include expenses such as lodging, mileage, air fare, baggage fees, taxi fees, and similar travel expenses.  Reimbursement cannot be made for per diem expenses such as meals, conference registrations, membership fees, and/or incidental expenses.  


The following are the corresponding registration fees for the MCAFDO Conference and/or the Environmental Sampling Workshop events:

  • Environmental Sampling Workshop only (Limited to 36 participants) – $50.00 – Register Now!
  • MCFADO Conference Only – $175.00 ($50 late fee will be applied after February 7, 2020) – Register Now!

A paid registration for the MCAFO Conference includes a complimentary 2020 MCAFDO membership.  Attendees should register for the conference and/or environmental sampling workshop no later than Friday, February 7, 2020. Registration can be completed online at: ?.  On-line registrations will be accepted through Tuesday, February 18, 2020.  Individual walk-in registrations for the MCAFDO conference will be accepted at the door during the first day of the conference; however, they will be subject to payment at the late registration rate ($175 + $50 = $225 total per person).  Walk-in registrations for the environmental sampling workshop will only be accepted on a space available basis.  The environmental sampling workshop will be limited to a total of 36 participants, which will be reserved on a first come first serve basis.

Agencies or individuals may pay for registrations via PayPal using a major credit card.  Registration payment(s) can be made at the time the on-line registration form is completed, or at a later date.  The on-line registration page will include a direct link to PayPal for those who wish to pay for their registration(s) via electronic payment.  Individuals completing on-line registration will automatically be e-mailed an invoice for the registration fees.  Registration payments made/received after Friday, February 7, 2020 will not be charged at the late registration rate providing the on-line registration is made prior to the cut-off date of February 7, 2020.

Agencies or individuals wishing to pay via check or money order should submit payments directly to Scott Platt, MCAFDO Secretary/Treasurer, PO Box 329, University Park, IA 52595. Check or money orders shall be made payable to MCAFDO.   When submitting a single check for multiple individuals, please include a note, memorandum, or copies of individual registration forms with the names of individuals whom payment is being issued for.  Agencies or individuals wishing to pay for registrations via a Purchase Order Agreement (POA) should contact Scott Platt, Secretary/Treasurer, to make arrangements.  Scott Platt can be contacted at the following e-mail or telephone number: or (515) 669-3953.

Conference attendees may also pay for registration fees at the door; however, advanced payment is encouraged.  MCAFDO will accept the following forms of payments at the door on the first day of the conference: credit card, debit card, cash, check, or money orders.  Credit card or debit card payments will be processed via PayPal.

Registrations made after Friday, February 7, 2020 will incur an additional late fee of $50 Please note registration fees will not be refunded after Friday, February 21, 2020, but another individual may be sent in place of the original registrant.  Late registration fees for the MCAFDO Conference and/or Environmental Sampling Workshop are as follows:

  • MCAFDO Conference & Environmental Sampling Workshop
    (after February 7, 2020) – $275.00
  • MCAFDO Conference Only (after February 7, 2020) – $225.00


A block of hotel rooms have been secured at the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas, 3303 Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Rogers, Arkansas 72758.  A group rate of $96 per night (subject to change based upon the current Government Per Diem rate), plus tax (14.5%), is available for single occupancy rooms (cost per night is estimated at $109.92).  An extra person charge may be applied per person for two or more guests sharing the same guestroom.  The group rate will be honored from Sunday, February 23 to Friday, February 28, 2020 based upon rate and space availability. The cut-off date for making reservations is Friday, January 24, 2020.  Reservation requests received after the cut-off date will be accepted on a space available basis, or at the higher of the contract rate or rate available at that time.

Reservations can be made using the provided personalized group web page link (a valid credit card is required): Mid-Continental Association of Food and Drug Officials – Hotel Reservations.  Additionally, reservations may be made via calling the hotel at the following phone number: (479) 254-8400. When making your reservation(s) please use the group code name “MCA” to secure the group room rate.  Guestroom types (i.e. Kings, Double, etc.) cannot be guaranteed and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.  Payment for room and tax and all incidental charges is due in full upon check out. Payment can be made by cash, by certified check, or credit card. The hotel accepts American Express, Diners Club, Discover Card, Duet Card, Eurocard, JCB International, Maestro/Switch, Master Card or Visa.  Cancelations must be made 48 hours before arrival to avoid cancellation penalties.

Guest accommodations will be available at 4:00 pm on arrival day and reserved until 11:00 am on departure day.  Guests desiring a special consideration for late checkout should inquire at the front desk on the day of departure.  The Hotel may allow for a late check-out, and may impose a half day room rate.

The hotel offers complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and complimentary evening receptions for hotel guests, 24 hour business center, free standard wireless internet access in all guestrooms, fitness/recreation center, pool, room service, coin laundry, and complimentary self-parking.  Valet parking is available for $7.00 per day.

Complete information about the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas – Hotel, Spa, & Convention Center, to include services, amenities, dinning, and etc. can be found at their web page: Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas – Hotel, Spa, & Convention Center.


The Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas offers a free complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and evening reception for hotel guests.  Lunch will be provided in conjunction with the 2020 MCAFDO AEC and this cost will be included in the conference registration fee.  Conference attendees can opt for a number of dining establishments within a short walking or driving distance of the hotel.  A list and map of available dining options near the hotel can be found at the following web link: Visit Rogers – Restaurants.

Airport & Ground Transportation Information:

Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)

The nearest major airport is Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport which is located approximately twenty-five minutes (21 miles) from the hotel.  The following transportation options are available from the airport to the hotel:

Jim’s Express Shuttle & Taxi – To Make a Reservation: You can call us at (479) 205-0011 or send us an email at If you send an email, we will reply with a confirmation! You can also head over to our “Schedule Online” tab right at the top of the web page, and you can fill out a transportation request.

Pinnacle Car Service – This is a charter bus, limousine, and black car service.  Phone – (479) 205-0505.

D R C Livery & Taxi – Phone (479) 233-1222.  Rates & services to Bentonville/Rogers/Lowell is $45.00.   Add $10 for each additional person to same location.

Ambassador Transportation Services – Taxi, Shuttle and Chauffeur Transportation. Phone (479) 250-1594.  Rates & services from airport to Rogers, AR is $40.

AAA Taxi and Car Service – Phone (479) 205-0011 or (866) 535-0137.

Car Rentals – Car Rental services are available at the airport from companies such as AVIS, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, National Car Rental, Dollar, and Thirfty.  Visit the following airport web link for additional information about car rental services: XNA Car Rental Services.

Ride Share Options:

Lyft – Estimated cost is approximately $25-30 from airport to the hotel.

Uber – Estimated cost is approximately $28.10 from the airport to the hotel.


Special Needs:

MCAFDO will strive to provide reasonable accommodations to all attendees with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the conference due to medical conditions, physical limitations, particular learning challenges, or dietary restrictions please include this information on your registration form. You may also notify Phillip Fruechting, MCAFDO President, at the following prior to the meeting:  (501) 661-2171 or

Silent Auction:

Each year MCAFDO hosts a silent auction to aid in raising funds.  Proceeds from the silent auction will be used to contribute to the AFDO Endowment fund and to defray conference costs.  Help make this year’s silent auction a huge success by donating a souvenir, keepsake gift or novelty item, or by bidding on any item in the auction.  Have fun and show your support!

  • Winning:
    • All bids will close at a designated time during the afternoon of Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
    • Silent auction items will be awarded to the highest bidder for that item.
    • Bidders may pay for silent auction items via cash, personal check, or credit/debit card (via PayPal).

W-9 Form:

To view / download MCAFDO’s W-9 form, MCAFDO W-9 Form – Jan 2020

Current MCAFDO Conference Agenda

Environmental Sampling Workshop Agenda

Heartland Food Safety Roundtable Meeting Flyer

“Funding for this conference was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant 1 R13 FD006894-01. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.”