Ohio poultry group honors leaders

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COLUMBUS – A Darke County egg producer, a top executive for Ohio’s largest turkey producer, a leading expert on avian influenza and Ohio’s state veterinarian are recipients of the Ohio Poultry Association’s highest awards for 2006.
The awards were announced at the annual banquet held in February.
John and Ed Kissinger of Kissinger Brothers Poultry in Versailles, Ohio, received the Environmental Stewardship award for maintaining good environmental practices, a friendly relationship with their neighbors and for managing their poultry houses in an efficient manner.
Kissinger Brothers, which opened in Darke County in 1976 with 20,500 leghorn laying hens, expanded the operation in 1992 to accommodate 140,000 hens.
Meritorious service. For well more than 20 years, Richard Slemons has dedicated his career to researching and understanding avian influenza and is now an international expert on avian influenza.
He received the Meritorious Service award.
His written research is considered a major contributor to the understanding of the role of wild waterfowl as reservoirs of avian flu viruses, and he is credited with the first discovery of low pathogenic avian influenza in migratory waterfowl in 1972.
He leads part of a major USDA-National Research Initiative avian influenza project in which he is responsible for creating and maintaining a coordinated virus surveillance network among wild birds.
Golden eggs. For more than 20 years, Diller has worked as chief financial officer of Cooper Farms Inc., based in Paulding County. He most recently received the Golden Egg award.
His chief executive officer, Jim Cooper, credits Diller with leading Cooper Farms to diversification into layers and into hogs along with other business ventures.
Appointed Ohio’s state veterinarian in 1993, David Glauer is the state’s top animal health official. He also received the Golden Egg award.
Glauer oversees the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s state field staff comprised of livestock inspectors and veterinary medical officers, in addition to administering Ohio’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and its pathology, toxicology, microbiology and virology professionals.
Under his leadership, the Ohio Egg Quality Assurance Program was born.

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