Just as the United States 2010 Census is crucial for our nation’s future planning, so is Food Engineering’s Plant Construction Survey.

This month’s cover story naming the 2010 Food Plant of the Year is aFood Engineeringtradition that dates back more than a quarter of a century. Over the years, FE has honored food and beverage manufacturers of all sizes from giants like General Mills and Frito-Lay to up and coming innovators such as Celebration Foods and Bell & Evans.

This year’s winner, Keystone Foods, played a crucial role in the development and success of the iconic American quick-serve restaurant: McDonalds Corp. Today, Keystone Foods continues to serve McDonalds and other major food companies and restaurant chains with its new state-of-the-art poultry plant in Gadsden, AL. Please turn to page 45 for the full story.

As its mandate,Food Engineeringcontinues to publish the best examples of food and beverage processing plant innovation. Behind the scenes, FE editors are working to deliver the 2nd annual Sustainable Plant of the Year this fall, as well the 33rd annual Plant Construction Survey in the July issue.

The Plant Construction Survey is an enormous undertaking, and we need your assistance to make it as complete as possible. Please helpFood Engineeringidentify all food and beverage plant projects of $1 million or more completed, planned or underway in 2009. New, expansion and renovation projects will be included. For more information about participating in this census of the industry, go to www.foodengineeringmag.com, scroll down on the right side and click on “Plant Construction Survey Form.”

Last year,Food Engineering’s editorial team uncovered nearly 500 projects in North America and reported on the key manufacturing trends such as the food industry’s continued commitment to green initiatives.

Just as the United States 2010 Census is crucial for our nation’s future planning, so isFood Engineering’s Plant Construction Survey. It is the industry’s only reporting mechanism for taking the pulse of building and spending in this sector.