Dr. Denise Heard

Dr. Denise Heard

TUCKER, Ga. — The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) has announced the appointment of Dr. Denise Heard as director of research, effective Oct. 1. She succeeds Dr. John Glisson, who will be retiring soon and will assist as needed during the transition.

Heard will administer the association's and the USPOULTRY Foundation's comprehensive research program and Board Research Initiative program that encompasses all components of poultry and egg production and processing.

She will work with the foundation's Research Advisory Committee, receiving and evaluating research proposals and making recommendations to the board of directors for both organizations for funding approval.

More than $32 million has been reinvested in research funding, with 50-plus universities and federal/state facilities receiving grants over the years. Currently the organizations are funding more than $1 million annually on a variety of industry-selected topics, spanning all sectors of the poultry industry.

Heard joins USPOULTRY from the USDA's National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), where she has served as the senior coordinator for the past eight years. Her responsibilities included leading and overseeing the administration of the NPIP program in all 50 states and Puerto Rico; authorizing more than 100 NPIP laboratories across the country; coordinating rulemaking to incorporate into the federal regulations for the poultry industry; and managing the state administration of the NPIP through periodic reviews of the administrative procedures of the NPIP official state agencies.

Heard received a bachelor of science in agriculture, a doctor of veterinary medicine and master of avian medicine from the University of Georgia. She also holds a certificate of executive public leadership from Washington University/Harvard University.

"U.S. Poultry & Egg Association welcomes Dr. Heard as our director of research. We are confident that Dr. Heard's background will help guide our programs to ensure that our industry continues to produce the most sustainable, wholesome and competitive product," said John Starkey, USPOULTRY president. "We look forward to her contribution to our research efforts."

"We also thank Dr. Glisson for his outstanding service to the Association and Foundation research programs for the last eight years," Starkey added. "We have seen the programs grow significantly under his exemplary leadership."

"The research programs operated by USPOULTRY and the foundation are an important component for innovation in the U.S. poultry industry," Heard said. "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in the future achievements of these research programs and particularly appreciate their strong foundation and legacy."

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