Experienced leaders in agricultural research and education have been elected to serve in leadership roles for Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. in 2018.

Todd Baker, a manager for Cobb-Vantress Inc., is serving as DPI's president for the year. Jennifer Timmons, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a chicken grower, is DPI's vice president. DPI's past president, Dean Walston, director of operations for the Milford processing plant of Perdue Foods, continues to serve as a DPI director and remains on its executive committee.

Baker, a native of the Eastern Shore, grew up on a family farm that raised chickens. With a background in business management, he joined Perdue Farms as a flock supervisor in 1997 and went on to assume operations and production management positions. Baker now manages broiler breeder research on Delmarva for Cobb-Vantress in its Pocomoke City, Maryland facility. Baker joined DPI's Board of Directors in 2016, and he served as vice president in 2017.

"I'm excited to help DPI work for the betterment of the chicken community," Baker said. "Every day, we go to work for our chicken growers, chicken companies, and allied businesses all around Delmarva. Putting our 1,800-member organization on an even stronger financial footing helps us do that, so I plan to grow our membership and keep the chicken industry strong."


Delmarva Poultry Industry has elected Jennifer Timmons to serve as its vice president. | Delmarva Poultry Industry

Timmons is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she teaches poultry production and animal nutrition to future leaders of the chicken industry. She also conducts research connected to poultry litter management and animal nutrition, focusing on controlling ammonia in chicken litter, which is one of the industry's key environmental stewardship measures. With her husband, Tim, she owns and operates a broiler chicken farm at her home near Delmar, Delaware.

"Chicken growers are constantly refining and improving how they farm, how they conserve resources, and how they make their chickens healthier," Timmons said. "DPI plays a key role in linking growers to research and helping them connect with each other to share best practices. I'm eager to make DPI an even better resource for growers and to help strengthen an already-robust part of Delmarva's economy."