U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is now accepting nominations for the 2020 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 Oct. 31.
In February of this year, the award was presented to four outstanding family farmers in various regions of the country: Central, South Central, Southeast and Southwest. The winners were Ryan Looten, Ryan Looten Farm, Olean, Missouri, nominated by Cargill; Mike and Paula Thompson, Round Hill Poultry, Broadway, Virginia, nominated by Cargill; Stacy Foster, Foster Farms, Inc., Seneca, S.C., nominated by Fieldale Farms; and Bud and Darla Oneal, Featherhill Farms, Elkins, Arkansas, nominated by Cargill.
Four finalists were also recognized in 2019. They were John and Carla Mishler, Mishler Turkey Farm, Seymour, Missouri, nominated by Cargill; Clint and Kelly Harris, Triple Cross Farms, Mayfield, Kentucky, nominated by Tyson Foods and the Kentucky Poultry Federation; Mandy and John Williams, Front Runner Farm, Elberton, Georgia, nominated by Fieldale Farms; and Jordan and Megan Shepherd, Spurrin’ S Farms, Gatesville, Texas, nominated by the Texas Poultry Federation.
Nominations for the 2020 competition may be made by a USPOULTRY member, an affiliated state poultry association or by a poultry or egg producer that grows poultry or produces eggs for a USPOULTRY member. Each integrator or egg processor may nominate two growers or producers for each processing facility in each state that they operate.
"Best management practices are regularly used by poultry growers to enhance environmental stewardship on their farms. The commitment and resourcefulness that our award winners and finalists display each year through their environmental management practices is commendable," said John Prestage, senior vice president, Prestage Farms, and USPOULTRY chairman.
All semi-finalists will receive a trip that covers travel expenses and hotel accommodations for two nights to attend the 2020 International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia. Each will also receive a Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award sign to display near the entrance of their farm.
The winner and runner-up of each region will be named at a special award ceremony that will take place at the end of the Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit, held in conjunction with IPPE, on Jan. 28, 2020. 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.
Competition details are available on the USPOULTRY website at www.uspoultry.org/environment.