Delmarva’s top poultry achievers recognized

Hundreds of people supportive of the Delmarva Peninsula’s chicken community gathered in Salisbury last Wednesday for the Delmarva Poultry Industry Booster Banquet, the 1,800-member trade association’s annual membership dinner.

During its 60th banquet, DPI recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers and four individuals for their work on behalf of the chicken industry.

The J. Frank Gordy Sr. Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, DPI’s highest honor, was presented to Charlie Carpenter of Somerset County.

Just weeks out of college in Kentucky, Carpenter began work with Perdue Farms and has been with Perdue his entire 43-year career in a variety of positions.

He served on the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. Board of Directors from 1991 until 1994 and then returned to the board in 2006, serving as president in 2009.  He remains on the board today. He has been one of the most active board members.

He has represented the chicken industry for several years on the Maryland Agricultural Commission and is this year’s chairman.

Through the years, Carpenter’s community involvement has been to serve as coach of his sons’ recreational soccer and baseball teams.   He served as President of the Pocomoke Middle School PTA and as chairman of the Advisory Board.  He was chairman of the Lower Shore YMCA board in Pocomoke City when it organized the capital campaign to raise funds to build the present YMCA facility.  He has served as a board member for Habitat on the Lower Shore.

For many years he was a board member and volunteer with Salisbury Urban Ministries serving as the Chair of the Property Management, the janitor and maintenance person, and helping with the Kids’ Café, Lazarus Fund, and God’s Kitchen.  He also participated in mission trips to lead vacation bible schools on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona.  He always has been active in various churches putting his faith into action and supporting his wife’s ministry.

He has the distinction of being named a Kentucky Colonel by two separate governors of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  These recognitions were given for his work in the poultry industry and agriculture and contributions to the community and state.

He and his wife, Marsha, live near Princess Anne.  They have two sons, Chris and Chad, two daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

The Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown of near Salisbury.  The award goes to a non-elected person for outstanding service on behalf of Delmarva’s chicken industry.

Stewart-Brown has been active with DPI since early in his Delmarva career in 1998, serving on the DPI Board of Directors for many years and as chairman of the DPI Emergency Poultry Disease Task Force.  He has helped the chicken industry and governments improve emergency disease preparedness and response plans.

Stewart-Brown came to Delmarva where he joined Perdue Farms as Director of Health Services.  With several new titles and additional responsibilities since then, he has expanded his areas of responsibility to include food safety, quality assurance, and animal welfare.  His current position is Senior Vice President of Food Safety, Quality and Live Operations.  

He has spoken to poultry audiences in more than 35 nations, an indication of his experience and the respect he has among others in the chicken industry.  He has served in assorted voluntary capacities with the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Pathologists (which honored him last year with a special service award), the National Chicken Council, the Poultry Science Association, and the U. S. Poultry & Egg Association.

The DPI Medal of Achievement for an elected official went to Maryland State Delegate Charles Otto of Somerset County.

Born in Salisbury and raised on the Lower Eastern Shore, Otto has a long history of service to the agricultural community through both community activities and his employment.

He served as president of both the Somerset County and Wicomico County farm bureaus.  He is a Past Chair of the Agri-Business Committee of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce. He been active in the Maryland Grain Producers Association and the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board.   He was a charter member of the Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department and is a member of the American Society of Agronomy.

Soon after graduation from Virginia Tech, he began his professional career and has been involved with agriculture ever since.  He has farmed, grown chickens, been a sales representative for the William B. Tilghman Fertilizer Company, a field representative for the Maryland Farm Bureau, and now is a certified crop consultant and sales representative for The Farmers & Planters Co.  It is this wide range of knowledge and experience with farming that has made Delegate Otto such an important part of the Maryland General Assembly.

He won election to the House of Delegates in 2010, seeking office because he did not believe other possible candidates understood agriculture and adequately could serve the farming community.  Upon taking office, he was appointed to the Environmental Matters Committee and he remains on that committee.  As the only farmer on the committee that deals with farm issues, he is looked to for knowledge, advice, and counsel.  Starting last year, he has served as the chairman of the General Assembly’s Eastern Shore Delegation.

A final DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Dr. Paul Twining of Somerset County, Maryland, who Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. recognized in 1988 with Delmarva’s Distinguished Citizen Award.  Over the last 28 years he has continued to make important contributions to DPI and Delmarva’s chicken industry.

A chicken grower from 1956 until 2002, he received his college degrees from the University of Maryland.  He worked as a chemist and nutritionist at Perdue Farms for six years and since 1970 has been an international independent consultant in the poultry industry.   He joined the DPI board of directors in 1976 and served until the end of 2015, making him at that time the longest serving current member of the board.  He served as president in 1980.

From 1981 until 1987, he served as a chicken industry representative on the Maryland Agricultural Commission and was chairman the last three years.

With his retirement from the DPI board of directors at the end of last year and his 40 years of service, DPI thought it was time to recognize him again and thank him for his many contributions to the organization and the chicken industry.

Additionally, DPI recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers.  Selected by their companies from Delmarva’s more than 1,600 poultry growers, this year’s recipients are:

  • William and Diane Brooks, Milton — Perdue Foods
  • James and Sandra Brunk, Salisbury — Tyson Foods
  • Tom, Mary, and Eric Cheezum, Preston — Allen Harim
  • Danny and Laurie Collins, Millsboro — Perdue Foods
  • David and Jenny Hoffman, Pocomoke City — Mountaire Farms
  • Mike and Brandy Irwin, Greenwood — Mountaire Farms
  • Gilbert and Tina Johnson, Centreville — Mountaire Farms
  • Chris and Cynthia Long, Wyoming — Amick Farms
  • Scott Peterman and Wil Jerman, Milford — Allen Harim
  • John and Linda Walls, Milford — Perdue Foods
  • Mark and Richard Whaley, Laurel — Perdue Foods
  • Wan and Eun Yu, Laurel — Mountaire Farms

Nearly 700 people attended the DPI banquet at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.


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