ATLANTA — The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association presented the organization’s annual Lamplighter Award to five individuals at the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2022 International Production & Processing Expo. The award pays tribute to individuals for “sustained and exemplary service” to the poultry and egg industry.
This year’s honorees are:
- Bob (Pic) Billingsley — Billingsley is director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms and served on the USPOULTRY board of directors for six years.
Billingsley, a member of Sanderson Farms’ Executive Committee, has served in various capacities throughout his more than 35-plus year tenure with the company, beginning his career in the poultry industry shortly after his graduation from college.
In addition to his personal involvement and support of various USPOULTRY committees, Billingsley is a former chairman of the Mississippi Poultry Association, former director and chairman of the Association for Excellence in Education and a recipient of the Robert E. Gaddis Education Award. He served on the governor’s Mississippi Energy Policy Institute and on the board for the Salvation Army, and he has been an active member of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.
- Dr. Karen Christensen — Christensen is senior director of animal wellbeing at Tyson Foods.
She received her BS and MS in animal science from Washington State University and completed her Ph.D. in poultry physiology from Mississippi State University. She has worked with H&N International, Draper Valley Farms and OK Foods. Before joining Tyson Foods, she was an associate professor in poultry at the University of Arkansas.
Christensen has been involved in the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) for several years. She has served on the board of the organization, as well as served as committee chair for training and education. Christensen has also served as chair of the Poultry Science Association’s Welfare Committee.
- Steve George — George has served as president and CEO of Fremont Farms of Iowa, LLP since 2002. He is also a partner/investor in Iowa Cagefree and other businesses.
George serves on the board of the United Egg Producers, as well as chair of the American Egg Board. He has also served on various corporate, partnership, non-profit and banking boards. Prior to joining Fremont Farms, George held executive positions with the IBM Corporation, Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc., and a regional investment banking firm. His educational background includes a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
- Warren Howe — Howe is vice president at Woodruff & Howe Environmental Engineering. He has more 26 years of experience in the industrial and environmental engineering fields.
Howe has a BS in industrial engineering and a Certificate of Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Georgia and other states and is a “Level II Certified Design Professional” under Georgia’s soil, erosion and pollution control permitting program.
Howe was formerly the manager of environmental engineering with Gold Kist Inc. He was also a plant engineer with Gold Kist Inc. and Wayne Farms LLC.
- Steve Woodruff — Woodruff is president and CEO at Woodruff & Howe Environmental Engineering. He has more than 30 years of experience in the process and environmental engineering fields, with more than 22 years in consulting engineering.
Woodruff has a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida, and he is also a registered professional engineer in various states. He is a technical services provider for the USDA-NRCS, and he is a certified comprehensive nutrient management plan writer. Woodruff was previously the director of environmental engineering and safety for Gold Kist Inc.
“We value the commitment and support of this year’s Lamplighter Award recipients,” said Greg Hinton, Rose Acre Farms, and outgoing USPOULTRY chairman. “They have enthusiastically dedicated themselves to contributing to the poultry industry, and we sincerely appreciate their service to the industry.”