Forrest Aldridge, Aviagen assistant breeder manager in Elkmont, Ala., was honored with the prestigious “30 Under 30” award at the 2017 International Poultry and Production Exhibition (IPPE).

Designed to recognize leadership qualities in young poultry professionals, the "30 Under 30 award" was presented by John Starkey, president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, which is a sponsor of IPPE. The goal of the "30 Under 30" program is to engage young professionals in valuable technology and educational programs.

Aldridge’s relationship with Aviagen began in 2012, after earning a degree in Poultry Science from Auburn University. He interned for 10 weeks with the GP Production Department in Elkmont. In Dec. 2012 he joined the company as grandparent breeder poultry specialist, overseeing nine of Aviagen’s contract hen facilities in the Alabama and Tennessee areas. There he was responsible for all aspects of farm management—from training new growers to managing flock performance.

Since then he has played a key role in expanding the region’s breeder contract facilities, which doubled during the first three years under Aldridge’s supervision. In Jan. 2015 Aldridge’s expertise, leadership and dedication were rewarded with a promotion to assistant breeder manager. In this role, he is responsible for training new employees and new contract growers on Aviagen’s processes and procedures to ensure the company’s standards are met.

Aldridge’s leadership talents and poultry production expertise demonstrated at an early age contributed to his earning the award, according to Cory Shadden, Aviagen’s GP Breeder Manager Alabama and Tennessee. “I’m proud of Aldridge’s achievements and appreciate his tireless dedication to improving performance for our growers. He has added considerable value to the expansion of the Breeder department and to the company as a whole,” says Shadden. “His moral clarity and unwavering commitment have allowed him to excel in his new role. He has become a respected leader of our great production team and has earned the admiration of colleagues and customers alike.”

Aldridge says, “It is rewarding for me to work hand-in-hand with our contract growers, together finding the best solutions to their challenges and striving each day to improve their efficiency and productivity. I believe the greatest contribution I can make to them and to Aviagen is to lead by setting a positive example of hard work, commitment and a strong desire to see our growers and our business succeed.”