Poultry farmers celebrate 63rd annual DPI Banquet

SALISBURY, Md. – In Salisbury, hundreds of farmers, chicken company employees, and more gathered to celebrate Delmarva’s Poultry Industry. During the 63rd annual DPI Booster Banquet, 12 chicken growers and four other individuals were recognized for their dedication to the poultry industry. The highest award, named the Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, was given to Clark White, a Sussex county native who’s been involved with the industry since 1980. And while the banquet highlighted the many growers in the area, state officials tell us the success of the industry wouldn’t be possible without everyone working together.

“We work together, we do all kinds of things together and it’s a beautiful thing to see. We’re not just Delaware we’re not just Maryland , we’re not just Virginia. We’re Delmarva and we look out for each other,” said Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware).

Here are the list of winners below:

  • The J. Frank Gordy, Sr. Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, DPI’s highest honor, was presented to Clark
    White. A Sussex county native and a leading historian for Delmarva’s chicken community, White was involved
    with DPI beginning in the 1980s and served as DPI’s president in 1988. He has a strong passion for the history
    of the Delmarva poultry industry, with his own collection of artifacts, equipment, photos and other memorabilia
    of the industry over the past decades. He was instrumental in working with producers of the “Cluck, Pluck, and
    Luck” documentary to showcase the earliest roots of raising chickens on Delmarva.
  • The Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Dr. Dan Bautista, director of the University
    of Delaware Lasher Laboratory. In that role, he collaborates with company and state veterinarians, allied
    industry scientists, and university faculty to protect Delmarva poultry flocks from disease. Bautista has served
    on DPI’s Emergency Poultry Disease Task Force, Chicken Festival, Poultry Health and Grower committees,
    and he is an executive board member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists.
  • A DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Robert Crockett, a member of the Accomack County, Va. Board
    of Supervisors, for his recognition of the importance of the Delmarva chicken industry. Crockett “has often
    shared that the poultry industry on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is like an anchor store at a mall – an essential piece
    that brings economic benefits well beyond the industry itself,” DPI executive director Holly Porter said in
    presenting the award.
  • A special recognition was awarded to Lori Morrow, DPI’s office coordinator and corporate secretary/treasurer.
    A DPI employee for 18 years, Morrow’s work behind the scenes is essential to the success of DPI’s
    membership campaign; the National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production; the Booster
    Banquet; and many other events each year.Additionally, DPI recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers. Selected by the companies with which they
    contract to raise chickens from among Delmarva’s more than 1,300 poultry growers, this year’s outstanding
    growers are:
    Tim and Kim Austin, Centreville, Md., growers for Mountaire Farms
    Gary and Crystal Conaway, Georgetown, Del., growers for Mountaire Farms
    Dasrat Deonarine, Georgetown, Del., a grower for Perdue Farms
    Ryan and Laura Greer, Middletown, Del., growers for Coleman Organic
    Tracey Hill, Laurel, Del., a grower for Mountaire Farms
    Brian Kunkowski, Laurel, Del., a grower for Amick Farms
    Kimberly Lang, Bloxom, Va., a grower for Tyson Foods
    Ronnie and Tammy Massey, Seaford, Del., growers for Amick Farms
    Larry Sterling, Pocomoke City, Md., a grower for Mountaire Farms
    Jonathan Tran, Pocomoke City, Md., a grower for Perdue Farms
    William and Janice Vickers, Millsboro, Del., growers for Perdue Farms
    John F. Williams III, Cordova, Md., a grower for Allen Harim
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