Thursday, September 21, 2023

Bill Baisley, 90, poultry industry veteran, passed away on Aug. 28

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DAYTON, Tenn. — William C. (Bill) Baisley, 90, of Dayton, Tenn., passed away on Aug. 28, 2022. He was born in Crossville on April 13, 1932, the son of Carson and Weltha Wyatt Baisley.

Mr. Baisley was known as a leader in Georgia’s poultry industry. He served for 38 years as a national domestic sales manager with Peterson Farms. He received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from Tennessee Technological University and began work in the poultry industry in 1959 as a salesman for Dixie Grain Co.

Mr. Baisley worked for several poultry companies in Tennessee and Alabama before moving to North Georgia in 1967 and beginning his work with Peterson Farms. He rose through the ranks of the company and was eventually the vice president of the southeast district for Peterson Farms.

Mr. Baisley was also very active with several poultry industry and agricultural associations. He served as chairman of the Georgia Poultry Federation in 1983 and 1984; and was chairman of the Georgia Poultry Improvement Association in 1996 and 1997. He had served on the board of the National Broiler Council and was very active on the board of the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

In 2017, he was inducted into the University of Georgia’s Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame.

“People are passionate about their own success. Bill is passionate about everyone’s success in agriculture. That sets him apart,” said Dr. Mike Lacy, former head of the UGA Department of Poultry Science, when Baisley was inducted into the hall of fame.

Mr. Baisley also worked with Lacy and the university’s Cooperative Extension Service on the improvement of educational programs for Georgia poultry farmers. UGA notes that he was a “driving force” in the development of AgriTrust of Georgia, which is a farmers compensation insurance program that serves more than 600 farms and businesses across Georgia.

Mr. Baisley also worked diligently on educational efforts for children with disabilities, as well as employment for adults. He was instrumental in founding the John W. Looper Speech and Hearing Center in Dalton, Ga., which focuses on special education and medical care. He also worked to begin a program with Peterson Farms designed to encourage the hiring of people with disabilities, as a result the company won the Tommy Nobis Award in 1999 in recognition of this initiative.

Mr. Baisley is also well known by those in the poultry industry for encouraging everyone to achieve “sumpin’ big.”

Funeral services were held Sept. 1, with burial in Pugh Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Maxine; son, Timothy Baisley; daughter, Vivian Baisley; and brother, Bobby Baisley.

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