More than $7.7 million in commitments have been pledged for Ensuring the Future, a campaign to enhance the sustainability and prosperity of the poultry and egg industry through the U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation. The campaign was announced during the foundation executive luncheon at the International Production & Processing Expo.
"The purpose of the foundation is to attract bright young people to the poultry industry and fund important research," said campaign co-chairman Elton Maddox, president and CEO of Wayne Farms. "Today, our foundation is the primary funding source for those two critical industry needs. This is a unique opportunity to invest today to ensure the continued success of the poultry and egg industry tomorrow."
Maddox is joined by Tommy Bagwell, American Proteins; Bill Bradley, CCF Brands; Monty Henderson, retired, George's Inc.; and Dr. Ron Prestage, Prestage Farms, as co-chairs.
The USPOULTRY Foundation serves all segments of the poultry and egg industry, investing millions of dollars for recruiting students and funding research.
"We have benefitted from great leadership during the preliminary phase of the campaign," commented John Starkey, USPOULTRY president. "And we have been energized as we listened to industry leaders about how the USPOULTRY Foundation can be an even more valuable partner and resource in 2014 and beyond."
Campaign steering committee members include James Adams, Wenger Feeds; Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms; Don Dalton, retired, USPOULTRY; Barry Frank, National Proteins & Oils; Charles George, George's Inc.; Tom Hensley, Fieldale Farms; Mark Hickman, Peco Foods; Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods; Jay Houchin, Farbest Farms; Dr. Don Jackson, retired, JBS USA; Jerry Lane, Claxton Poultry Farms; Don Mabe, American Proteins; Pete Martin, Mar-Jac Poultry; Abit Massey, Georgia Poultry Federation; Bill Morris, Morris & Associates; Jerry Moye, Cobb-Vantress; Todd Simmons, Simmons Foods; Mark Waller, Ingram Farms; Mike Welch, Harrison Poultry; and Steve Willardsen, retired, Cargill Value Added Meats.
"The tremendous support from foundation donors means that we can increase significantly the funding invested back into the industry. It will expand vital research and youth programs that help attract students to poultry and related majors and ultimately into careers in the poultry and egg industry," Starkey said.
Donors recognized at the luncheon, held at the Georgia World Congress Center, include:
- $1 million and above: Tommy and Chantal Bagwell, Tyson Foods
- $500,000 to $999,999: Cargill, Pilgrim's, Prestage Farms
- $250,000 to $499,999: Cal-Maine Foods, Case Farms, Cooper Family Foundation, George's Inc., Koch Foods, Mountaire, Peco Foods, Simmons Foods, and Wayne Farms
- $100,000 to $249,999: CCF Brands, Gary and Cheri Cooper, Fieldale Farms, Barry and Eugenia Frank, Stanley and Dorothy Frank Family Foundation, Monty and Margot Henderson, Dr. Don Jackson, Elton and Claire Maddox, and Valley Proteins
"We look forward to visiting with more industry leaders and founding families in the months to come," said Starkey. "In addition to making a big difference in the future of the industry, we are able to offer donors significant and ongoing recognition."