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U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Those eligible for the award include any family-owned poultry grower or egg producer supplying product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due Sept. 30.

The award is presented to exemplary family farmers in six regions of the country. One award may be presented for each of the regions: Northeast, Southeast, South Central, North Central, Southwest and the remainder of the United States. Nominations must be made by a USPOULTRY member or an affiliated state poultry association by completing the application provided by USPOULTRY. Each integrator or egg processor may nominate one grower or producer for each processing facility in each state supporting their operations.

Five families received the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award in 2016. The winners were Paul and Sue Alle, Wildcat Hill Turkey Farm, California, Mo., nominated by Cargill Turkey Production; Glenn and Sheri Rodes, Riverhill Farms, Port Republic, Va., nominated by Cargill Turkey Production; Robert and Angela Allred, Allred Acres, Laurel, Miss., nominated by Wayne Farms; Tim and Deena Morrison, Morrison Poultry, Wingo, Ky., nominated by Tyson Foods; and Gregory and Patti Kieffer, GAP Farm, Rogers, Texas, nominated by Cargill Turkey Production and the Texas Poultry Federation.

Two finalists were also recognized in 2016. The finalists were Terrell and Tonya Varner, Varner Farms, Inc., Cassville, Mo., nominated by Cargill Turkey Production, and Willis and Krystal Heatwole, Bethel Bend Farm, Elkton, Va., nominated by George’s Inc.

"Poultry growers use best management practices that enhance environmental stewardship on their farms. The dexterity, inventiveness and dedication that our award winners and finalists display each year through their environmental management practices is admirable," said Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa, and USPOULTRY chairman.

All semi-finalists will receive a trip that covers travel expenses and hotel accommodations for two nights to attend a special awards ceremony that will take place during the 2017 International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Ga. Each semi-finalist will also receive a Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award sign to display near the entrance of their farm.

The overall winner of each region will be named at the Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit, held in conjunction with IPPE, on Jan. 31, 2017. Each regional winner will also receive a $1,000 cash award. In addition, the farm for each regional winner will be spotlighted on USPOULTRY’s website, and the Association will provide assistance in publicizing the farm’s award in local, regional and national media.