TUCKER, Ga. – Sixty-eight chicken and turkey facilities were recognized by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council for outstanding safety performance through the implementation of innovative and effective safety and health programs. These annual awards were presented during the 2012 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry held in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

"The industry recognizes that our people are our most valuable asset, and worker safety efforts have never been stronger,” said John Starkey, president of US Poultry & Egg Association.

“The significant and consistent decline in illness and injury rates among our workforce over the past two decades is a direct result of their strong commitment to worker safety,” added Mike Brown, National Chicken Council president.

“We hope by highlighting these facilities we can all learn additional practices and tools to further protect the people that work hard every day in our plants to provide high-quality, safe and nutritious protein for consumers,” said Joel Brandenberger National Turkey Federation president.

Award consideration was based on injury statistics during three years and an evaluation of written applications by three judges: Gary Pohlmann of Marsh Risk Consulting, Doug Britton, program manager for Agricultural Technology Research at Georgia Tech Research Institute, and George Nassif of Aon Global Risk Consulting. Twenty-five facilities received the highest level of recognition, "Award of Distinction." The other categories included "Award of Honor" and "Award of Merit."

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council is made up of members from the US Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. The three organizations combined represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation's poultry products and employ more 350,000 workers.

Award of Distinction winners include Butterball LLC, Ozark, Ark., processing, Carthage, Mo., processing and Huntsville, Ark., processing; Cargill Turkey Production LLC, Butterfield, Mo., and Springdale, Ark., feed mills; Cargill Value Added Meats, Temple, Texas, feed mill and Waco, Texas, processing (see feature on Cargill’s Waco complex in the July issue of MEAT&POULTRY magazine); Keystone Foods, Albany, Ky., processing, Franklin, Ky., hatchery and Camilla, Ga., processing; Perdue Farms Inc., Perry, Ga., cook plant, Dillon, SC, processing, Perry, Ga., fresh processing, Concord, NC, further processing, Salisbury, Md., processing, Rockingham, NC, processing, Accomac, Va., processing, and Georgetown, Del., roaster complex.

Other Award of Distinction winners include Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Falkville, Ala., feed mill, and Batesville, Ark., processing; Sara Lee Foods Storm Lake, Iowa, processing; Simmons Foods, Siloam Springs, Ark., further processing; Wayne Farms LLC, Pendergrass, Ga., processing, Decatur, Ala., West hatchery and Union Springs, Ala., processing.

Award of Honor winners include Butterball LLC, Mt. Olive, NC, processing; Cargill Turkey Production LLC, California, Mo., feed mill; Cargill Value Added Meats, Springdale, Ark., processing, Cobb-Vantress Inc., Siloam Springs, Ark,. feed mill and Timpson, Texas, hatchery; Gerber Poultry, Kidron, Ohio, processing; Hubbard LLC, Pikeville, Tenn., hatchery; Keystone Foods, Gadsden, Ala., processing, and Eufaula, Ala., processing; Moroni Feed Company, Moroni, Utah, feed mill; Perdue Farms Inc., Cromwell, Ky., hatchery, Forsyth, Ga., hatchery, Bridgewater, Va., further processing, Nashville, NC, feed mill, Cromwell, Ky., processing, Washington, Ind., turkey processing, and Forsyth, Ga., feed mill; Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation Moorefield, W Va., hatchery, Broadway, Va., processing, Moorefield, W Va., feed mill, Harrisonburg, Va., feed mill, Mayfield, Ky., processing, Pittsburg, Texas, hatchery No. 1 and 2, and Natchitoches, La., processing; Sanderson Farms Inc., Laurel, Miss., and McComb, Miss., processing; River Valley Animal Foods, Robards, Ky., and Texarkana, Ark; Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative, Hinton, Va., processing; and Wayne Farms LLC, Troy, Ala., hatchery, Laurel, Miss., feed mill, Danville, Ark., hatchery, Decatur, Ala., East further processing, and Decatur, Ala., fresh plant

Award of Merit winners are House of Raeford Farms, Arcadia, La., Processing, Peco Foods Inc. and Sebastopol, Miss., Processing; Perdue Farms Inc., Dothan, Ala., processing, Salisbury, Md., hatchery Two, and Murfreesboro, NC, hatchery; and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Athens, Ga., feed mill, Broadway, Va., hatchery, Moorefield, W. Va., prepared foods and Canton, Ga., processing.