Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mikell Fries elected 2024 USPOULTRY chair

PT Editor — David Strickland

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ATLANTA — Mikell Fries, Claxton Poultry Farms, Claxton, Ga., was elected chair of the board of directors of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY). The board meeting was held during the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2024 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). Fries previously served as vice chair.

Fries is a graduate of Georgia Southern University where he obtained a degree in business management. Before assuming Claxton’s head operational role, he spent several years in senior positions overseeing sales and marketing. He has served the poultry industry in various capacities, including serving on the boards of directors for the Georgia Poultry Federation and Norman W. Fries, Inc. He is the president of Claxton Poultry Farms.


Vice chair

Jonathan Cade, Hy-Line International, Des Moines, Iowa, was named vice chair. Cade has a degree from Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom (UK). Before becoming president of Hy-Line International, he served as managing director of Hy-Line subsidiary, Hy-Line UK International.



Bill Griffith, Peco Foods Inc., Tuscaloosa, Ala., was named treasurer. Griffith is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he obtained degrees in biology and chemistry. Before joining Peco Foods, he served as president for Keystone Foods, U.S. He also had a successful tenure at Perdue Foods where he oversaw food safety, quality and regulatory compliance, in addition to serving as a microbiologist for Tyson Foods. He has served the poultry industry in various capacities, including participating on the USPOULTRY Foundation Research Advisory Committee as well as remaining active with the National Chicken Council. He is chief operations officer for Peco Foods.



Dr. Alice Johnson, Butterball LLC, Garner, N.C., was named secretary. Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Pfeiffer College and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Tuskegee Institute. Before her work with Butterball, Johnson served as president and CEO of the National Turkey Federation. She has also held multiple leadership positions with organizations like the National Food Processors Association and the American Meat Institute. She currently serves as senior vice president of food safety, regulatory and animal well-being for Butterball. Johnson’s role encompasses multiple responsibilities, including the development, implementation and oversight of food safety, quality and animal well-being. In addition, since joining the company in 2006, Johnson has worked alongside federal and state regulatory agencies to implement and manage government regulations within the company.


Immediate past chair

Jarod Morrison, chief financial officer for Farbest Foods, is immediate past chair. Morrison received his BS in finance from the University of Southern Indiana and his MBA from Purdue University. Before joining Farbest Foods, he was senior director of finance and accounting with Masterbrand Cabinets and finance manager with GE Plastics. He is currently chief financial officer for Farbest Foods where he leads all aspects of finance, accounting and IT for Farbest Foods, Farbest Farms and JFS Milling.

“With the experience and guidance these officers bring to our organization, the future of USPOULTRY is in excellent hands,” Nath Morris, USPOULTRY president, said. “I look forward to their leadership in helping to shape our organization over the next year.”


Board of Directors

Serving on the USPOULTRY Board of Directors will be:

Clay Adkins, International Paper, Sarepta, La.; Dr. Marc de Beer, Aviagen, Huntsville, Ala.; David Bleth, Harrison Poultry, Bethlehem, Ga.; Lance Buckert, Koch Foods, Park Ridge, Ill.; J.T. Dean, Versova, Sioux City, Iowa; Ted Greidanus, Opal Foods, Neosho, Mo.; Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa; Greg Hinton, Rose Acre Farms, Seymour, Ind.; Denis Kan, Jamesway, Cambridge, Ontario; Mandy Klopp, Pilgrim’s, Arcadia, Wis.; Mike Levengood, Perdue, Salisbury, Md.; Eric Ludwig, Cooper Farms, Van Wert, Ohio; Kevin McDaniel, Wayne-Sanderson Farms, Oakwood, Ga.; Drew McGee, Foster Farms, Livingston, Calif.; Sherman Miller, Cal-Maine Foods, Jackson, Miss.; Wes Morris, Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark,; John Prestage, Prestage Farms, Clinton, N.C.; William Rehm, Daybreak Foods, Lake Mills, Wis.; Niki Rutter, Mountaire Corp., Millsboro, Del.; Joel Sappenfield, Simmons Prepared Foods, Siloam Springs, Ark.; Joel Williams, Mar-Jac Poultry, Gainesville, Ga.; and John Wright, Fieldale Farms, Baldwin, Ga.


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