At United Egg Producers’ (UEP) annual executive conference, held in Amelia Island, FL, the organization celebrated three individuals who have made a lasting impact on the U.S. egg farming community. Egg industry leaders, Earl Barrentine of Nashville, GA; Bill Bell of Portland, ME; and Tom Hertzfeld, Jr., of Grand Rapids, OH; were recognized at UEP’s recent awards dinner. UEP also elected officers to lead the organization’s Board of Directors.

Earl Barrentine served as Chairman of the UEP Allied Division from 2019 to 2021. Barrentine has been in the egg industry for over 47 years, with the exception of the four years he served in the U.S. Navy. He began working at Chore-Time in 1974 and has been the regional sales manager for eggs since 1986. Early in his tenure at Chore-Time, Barrentine was a product engineer and instrumental in helping develop systems and products for the egg industry, including the soft touch egg collector for cage systems, which was patented in 1980.

New England native and longtime egg industry advocate Bill Bell is the 2021 recipient of the UEP President’s Award. The award recognizes an individual who has made a deep impact on the egg industry and egg farming community by helping others. His service to the industry began in the 1970s when Bell organized egg producers in the Northeast in creating impactful campaigns supporting the sale of fresh, local eggs. For decades, Bell has been an industry leader in New England working to promote smart animal welfare initiatives.

Tom Hertzfeld, Jr., president of Hertzfeld Poultry Farms in Ohio, received UEP’s highest honor, named Egg Producer of the Year. Hertzfeld has served in many leadership positions at UEP, including as chairman of the Government Relations Committee, a member of the Food Safety Committee, the UEP Board and the UEP Executive Committee. He most recently servied as the UEP Board chair. Under Hertzfeld’s leadership, UEP has navigated challenging issues, including the industry’s cage-free transition and the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, he has been an integral part of the American Egg Board, the Ohio Poultry Association and Ohio Egg Marketing program. Hertzfeld’s dedication to the industry is unmatched.


“We are thankful for the exceptional leadership and hundreds of hours of service from each of these three remarkable egg industry icons,” said Chad Gregory, president and CEO of UEP. “America’s egg farmers are fortunate to have benefitted from the contributions of these three men who have been integral in shaping our community. As the recognized voice of U.S. egg producers, UEP relies on the strength and knowledge of our leaders, Board members and business partners to assure we always are representing the egg farming community well, maintaining consumer and customer confidence in egg production, and advancing the business, food and agriculture priorities of our membership.”

UEP also elected its new slate of board officers at its meeting on Friday, October 29, 2021. These are egg producers Craig Giroux of New York as chairman, Mike West of California as vice chairman, JT Dean of Iowa as treasurer and Sherman Miller of Mississippi as secretary.