Hundreds of persons supportive of the Delmarva Peninsula's chicken community gathered in Salisbury, Md., on April 20 for the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI) Booster Banquet. During its 60th banquet, DPI recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers and four individuals for their work on behalf of the chicken industry.

The J. Frank Gordy, Sr. Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, DPI's highest honor, was presented to Charlie Carpenter of Somerset County, Maryland. Carpenter has worked for Perdue Farms for 43 years.

He served on the Delmarva Poultry Industry Board of Directors and was president in 2009. He has represented the chicken industry for several years on the Maryland Agricultural Commission and is this year's chairman.

The Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown. The award goes to a non-elected person for outstanding service on behalf of Delmarva's chicken industry.

Dr. Stewart-Brown has been active with DPI since 1998, serving on the DPI Board of Directors for many years and as chairman of the DPI Emergency Poultry Disease Task Force. He has helped the state's chicken industry to improve emergency disease preparedness and response plans.

Dr. Stewart-Brown joined Perdue Farms as Director of Health Services, and is now Senior Vice President of Food Safety, Quality & Live Operations. He has spoken to poultry audiences in more than 35 nations and served in assorted voluntary capacities with the AVMA, AAAP, NCC, PSA and USPOULTRY.

The DPI Medal of Achievement for an elected official went to Maryland State Delegate Charles Otto, who has a long history of service to the agricultural community, including serving as president of the Somerset County and Wicomico County farm bureaus. He is a Past Chair of the Agri-Business Committee of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and has been active in the Maryland Grain Producers Association and the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization. 

He has been a sales rep for the William B. Tilghman Fertilizer Company, a field rep for the Maryland Farm Bureau, and now is a certified crop consultant and sales representative for The Farmers & Planters Co.

A final DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Dr. Paul Twining of Somerset County. Over the last 28 years he has made important contributions to DPI and Delmarva's chicken industry.

A chicken grower from 1956 until 2002, he worked as a chemist and nutritionist at Perdue Farms for six years and since 1970 has been an international independent consultant in the poultry industry. He joined the DPI board of directors in 1976, served until the end of 2015, and was president in 1980. From 1981 until 1987, he served as a chicken industry representative on the Maryland Agricultural Commission and was chairman the last three years.

Additionally, DPI recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers. Selected by their companies from Delmarva's more than 1,600 poultry growers, this year's recipients are:

  • William and Diane Brooks - Perdue Foods
  • James and Sandra Brunk - Tyson Foods
  • Tom, Mary, and Eric Cheezum - Allen Harim
  • Danny and Laurie Collins - Perdue Foods
  • David and Jenny Hoffman - Mountaire Farms
  • Mike and Brandy Irwin - Mountaire Farms
  • Gilbert and Tina Johnson - Mountaire Farms
  • Chris and Cynthia Long - Amick Farms
  • Scott Peterman and Wil Jerman - Allen Harim
  • John and Linda Walls - Perdue Foods
  • Mark and Richard Whaley - Perdue Foods
  • Wan and Eun Yu - Mountaire Farms