Dr. John Smith (right) was "collared" with an actual horse collar by Elton Maddox, CEO of Wayne Farms. Smith was named 2017 USPOULTRY Workhorse of the Year at the International Poultry Expo Atlanta.

ATLANTA, Ga. – The US Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY) recognized Dr. John Smith, senior health services advisor for Gainesville, Georgia-based Fieldale Farms as its Workhorse of the Year at the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) held in Atlanta. Awarded annually, Workhorse of the Year recognizes dedicated service and valuable leadership given to USPOULTRY and the poultry industry.

Smith donned the long-established horse collar, presented to him by 2016 winner Elton Maddox, president and CEO of Wayne Farms and past USPOULTRY chairman. Smith also received a commemorative plaque from Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa, and outgoing USPOULTRY chairman.

“We are honored to recognize Dr. Smith with this special award and acknowledge his many contributions to the poultry industry and the Association,” Hill said in a statement. “We are deeply appreciative of his enthusiastic and tireless efforts on behalf of the Association and the industry.”

Smith holds a DVM in veterinary medicine from the Univ. of Georgia, a master of science in medical microbiology and a master of avian medicine in poultry medicine from the Univ. of Georgia. He also holds a professional recognition of Diplomate by examination for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and a Diplomate by examination for the American College of Poultry Veterinarians, from the Univ. of Georgia.

Smith joined Fieldale Farms in 1991 and as senior health services advisor is currently responsible for preventative and restorative poultry health programs, which includes health programs for pullets, breeders, hatcheries, broilers and processing. Before Fieldale Farms, Smith was an associate professor at Colorado State Univ. His association memberships include the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Avian Pathologists, Poultry Science Association, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and US Animal Health Association.

In 2004 Smith received USPOULTRY’s Lamplighter Award for exemplary service to the poultry and egg industry. Smith served on the USPOULTRY Foundation Research Advisory Committee for 16 years, the last 10 of which he served as chairman and served on many USPOULTRY committees the Poultry Health Seminar program committee, Poultry Care and Handling Workshop program committee and IPE Education Program planning committee, in addition to others.

“John is just one of those individuals, through his volunteerism, who has had not only a tremendous impact on USPOULTRY, but the industry as a whole. Needless to say, we are most grateful to him,” said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.