ATLANTA — John Starkey, former president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, was honored by USPOULTRY during the 2024 International Production & Processing Expo, where he received the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious honor was presented to Starkey by Nath Morris, president of USPOULTRY.
The Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual whose dedication and leadership over the years have far exceeded the ordinary and impacted both the poultry industry and USPOULTRY in an exemplary manner. The award is presented non-annually and when the Awards and Recognition Committee unanimously recognizes and endorses the need for occasional, unique recognition for exceptional contributions.
“John provided consistent leadership to USPOULTRY for more than 15 years, with USPOULTRY and IPPE growing significantly under his direction,” Nath Morris, USPOULTRY president, said. “He also offered steady guidance through some very demanding times, particularly the Foundation campaign and COVID-19 pandemic. We are honored to present this award in recognition of John’s dedication to USPOULTRY and the poultry and egg industries.”
Starkey was president of USPOULTRY from August 2007 to August 2023 after succeeding retiring president, Don Dalton. He began his professional career as an environmental engineer for Gold Kist in Atlanta in 1982 after completing his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at Purdue University and a master’s degree in sanitary engineering at Georgia Tech. After several years at Gold Kist, Starkey joined Hudson Foods as director of environmental affairs. He later became a principal in the engineering firm of Vaughn, Coltrane & Associates when Hudson Foods was sold to Tyson Foods.
During his years as president, Starkey was instrumental in many USPOULTRY accomplishments including extending IPPE’s long run as the world’s largest annual poultry industry event. Through the IPPE, USPOULTRY continued to reinvest millions of dollars into the industry through research, education, communication and technical services. In 2015, Starkey was awarded USPOULTRY’s highest annual award, the Workhorse of the Year, in recognition of his leadership.