H. Connor Kennett Jr., the former director of the USDA Poultry Division, died February 18 at his home. He was 83.

Kennett graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in poultry science in 1954. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he joined the USDA Poultry Division in 1956.

He was promoted to the division’s director in 1973 and held that position until his retirement in 1988. He earned many awards during his career, including induction into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame, an honor his father also received. He was also presented with the Distinguished Alumnus award by the North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and presented with an honorary membership into the National Turkey Federation.


He was also actively involved in the United Methodist Church.

His wife of 52 years, Aldith Boyd Kennett, preceded him in death. Kennett is survived by three siblings, H. Stone Kennett, J. Phil Kennett and Kay Kennett Stout. 

Rogers Pickard Funeral Home was in charge of funeral arrangements.