The U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation (USPOULTRY Foundation) has named Barbara Jenkins its executive director.

In addition to maintaining her role as vice president of education and student programs for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), Jenkins is assuming responsibility of the foundation’s day-to-day operations. These responsibilities include managing the annual collegiate recruiting grants program, interacting with FFA to bring National Officer Candidates and the top ten (each) Poultry Evaluation and Food Science and Technology Career Development Event teams to the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) for a special program, and bringing students from more than a dozen Latin American universities to IPPE in addition to a host of other programs. All of these programs are designed to reach a broad and diverse group of students and introduce them to the wide variety of career paths in the poultry and egg industry, from accounting and animal health, to business majors and communications, to marketing and sales. 

Jenkins began her career with USPOULTRY in 2000, working in various positions in the Education Program. She was promoted to vice president of education programs in 2011, and student programs was added to her list of job responsibilities in 2014. Jenkins was recognized in 2016 with an Honorary American Degree by the National FFA Organization, the highest honorary degree presented by the organization.


”Barbara started with us almost 18 years ago as an administrative assistant. Through her own hard work and continuing her education, she has continuously grown throughout her career. Frankly, some of this promotion finally recognizes things she is already doing and some is based on our desire to further direct her efforts toward student recruitment,” said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation. “Ask any group of poultry and egg industry executives, and I’m sure they will tell you that finding young talent is near the top of their list of priorities. This move will allow us to utilize Barbara’s proven skills to extend our reach in student recruitment.” 

Jenkins will continue to report to Starkey in both roles. Her initial efforts will focus on developing additional relationships with universities to supply the diverse student base desired by the industry.