TUCKER, GA. — President of US Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) John Starkey announced his retirement. For the remainder of 2023, Starkey will serve as an advisor, as USPOULTRY undergoes a search for his replacement.

During the January USPOULTRY board meeting, the search committee will be formed as well as a selection process and timeline established.

“While such a decision is never easy, the time has come for me to step aside,” Starkey said. “USPOULTRY is a great organization, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to contribute throughout my career and for the last 23 years as a member of staff. The association is led by a strong, energetic board; a committed, experienced staff; and hundreds of volunteers across the industry. The association and IPPE have had a sound recovery following COVID. So, it’s an ideal time to pass the baton for new leadership and vision to continue our service to the poultry and egg industry.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Purdue University and a master’s degree in sanitary engineering at Georgia Tech, Starkey began his professional career as an environmental engineer at Gold Kist in 1982. Later, he joined Hudson Foods, Rogers, Ark., as director of environmental affairs. When Hudson Foods was sold to Tyson Foods Inc., Starkey joined the engineering firm Vaughn, Coltrane & Associates as principal.

Throughout his industry career, Starkey volunteered with USPOULTRY until 2000, when he took on a permanent position with the association as vice president of environmental programs. In August 2007, Starkey became the USPOULTRY president.

During his presidency, he supported the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in its growth, which in turn led to investment in industry research, education, communication and technical services.

Starkey was a key player in several achievements, including:

  • The integration of the IPE/IFE, sponsored by USPOULTRY and the American Feed Industry Association, into IPPE, with the addition of the North American Meat Institute as a partner. As a result of the integration and growth, the trade show floor has more than doubled, with USPOULTRY serving as managing partner.
  • Managing USPOULTRY Foundation’s capital campaign that raised $11 million and whose corpus funds more than $1 million reinvested annually in research, student outreach and recruiting grants.
  • Enhancing IT programs to provide IT assistance to 23 national, state and affiliate trade associations, as well as NPIP.
  • Significantly increasing partnership with the National FFA organization, including programs that bring leading FFA students to IPPE.
  • More than doubling participation in the Foundation College Student Career Program.
  • Renovating and expanding existing office space and partnering with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council to house both organizations.

“John has provided solid and visionary leadership to USPOULTRY for the past 15 years,” said Mike Levengood, USPOULTRY chairman, Perdue Farms. “He has provided consistent guidance through some very challenging times, particularly the Foundation campaign and COVID-19 pandemic. And USPOULTRY and IPPE have grown significantly. Recognizing that level of leadership, John was also awarded the Association’s highest annual award, the Workhorse of the Year, in 2015.”