The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) recently announced its 2018 award recipients during the organization’s annual meeting and banquet in Columbus. This year, there were three awards which honored individuals who have made a significant contribution to Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey communities.

“Every year, we seek to honor individuals whose work and accomplishments promote the goals of our industry to provide safe, affordable food,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “I am honored to work with so many talented individuals, farms and businesses who go above and beyond what is expected of them every day – and this year’s award winners are no exception.”

Awards and recipients at the 33 rd Annual OPA Banquet and Industry Celebration included:

Golden Feather Award: Kevin Elder

The Golden Feather award is given annually to an individual who has distinguished themselves as a champion of livestock, agriculture or poultry issues. This year, OPA presented the award to Kevin Elder of Pleasantville, Ohio. Elder has dedicated his life to advancing the agriculture industry through improved practices and land conservation and preservation. He played a fundamental role in introducing farmers to no-till practices in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was involved in rewriting Ohio’s agricultural pollution abatement law and developing the state’s manure management program. Elder recently retired as the chief and executive director for the Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Elder has been a tireless advocate for the poultry industry and Ohio agriculture, and has been instrumental on numerous boards and task forces.

Family Legacy Award: G.A. Wintzer & Son Co.

The Family Legacy Award recognizes multigenerational individuals and families who are committed to advancing the mission and values of the state’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers. This year’s award was presented to the G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. of Wapakoneta, Ohio. The company started in the 1840s as a hide and skin purchasing and tanning company used for the sale of strap and harness leather goods. Nearly 100 years after its founding, the G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. has evolved into a company that manufactures high-quality protein meals used as an ingredient in livestock feed and pet food. The G.A. Wintzer & Sons Co. is now a sixth-generation family operation with 120 local employees, and a fleet of 200 trucks and trailers which travel more than 2 million miles per year, servicing a large number of poultry farms and feed mills throughout Ohio and Indiana.

Golden Egg Award: Terry Wehrkamp

The Golden Egg Award recognizes an individual who is committed to advancing the mission and values of the state’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers. This year’s honor was presented to Terry Wehrkamp, of Paulding County. Wehrkamp has served as the director of live production at Cooper Farms for 30 years where he has excelled in every role he’s held and has supported the company as it has grown. Wehrkamp has been an integral leader on a local, state and national level, serving on numerous boards for industry and community organizations, including two terms as Ohio Poultry Association President. He has been a long-time supporter of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and has been awarded their Distinguished Alumni Award, in addition to earning a spot in the Animal Science Department’s Hall of Fame.