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Five of America's Industry Leaders Honored

by 5m Editor
2 January 2007, at 7:24pm

US - The American Poultry Historical Society is to honor five outstanding individuals by inducting them into the American Poultry Hall of Fame.

Donald D. Bell, Nelson A. Cox, James H. Denton, Robert H. Harms, and Richard L. Witter will be inducted into the American Poultry Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, at the International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo in Atlanta, Ga. The ceremony is open to all IPE and IFE attendees.

The American Poultry Historical Society bestows this honor on a maximum of five individuals at three-year intervals. A bronze plaque bearing the image of each inductee will be on permanent display in the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md.

Don Bell is known internationally for his applied research related to cage-layer management and egg marketing. He has completed more that 150 research projects. He is the author of 318 trade journal articles, 17 university bulletins, leaflets of fact sheets, 160 county publications, 70 slide sets, 12 computer programs, and several book chapters. He published 10 refereed journal publications, 38 abstracts, and 34 research reports in popular form. Bell has organized and addressed hundreds of poultry meetings in California and throughout the world. Following retirement he has continued to work as a consultant for the United Egg Producers. Bell was an outstanding extension advisor and specialist at the University of California from 1958 to 1999.

Nelson A. Cox has a lifetime of distinctive research benefiting the poultry industry by reducing foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. He demonstrated that fecally contaminated condemned carcasses were microbiologically indistinguishable from inspection-passed carcasses after reprocessing, convincing Congress to approve the process. Reprocessing has become standard in the poultry industry, resulting in over $100 million in savings. He proved that immersion chilling was superior (in microbiologic terms) to air blast chilling, preventing a European trade ban that would have hurt the U.S. poultry industry. He identified hatcheries as reservoirs of Salmonella. He was the first in the world to (a) demonstrate that Campylobacter transmits through the fertile egg and (b) isolate Campylobacter from the internal organs and tissues of commercial poultry. Cox has worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Russell Research Center in Athens, Ga., since 1971.

James H. Denton worked in poultry and food safety for 36 years--10 years as department head/director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas and four terms on the USDA National Advisory Committee for Meat and Poultry Inspection. He serves as the Secretariat for the National Alliance for Food Safety and Security, four years as chairman of the board and operations committee steering committee member of three state Food and Safety Consortiums (Arkansas, Iowa, and Kansas), Poultry Science Association member, board of directors of the International HACCP Alliance, and chairman of the PSA Foundation board of trustees. Denton began his career as research associate in 1972 and progressed to acting head of the department of poultry science at Texas A & M University before moving to the University of Arkansas in 1992. He has been an emeritus professor since 2004.

Robert H. Harms developed the daily feeding concept for laying hens and has modified this concept to calculate nutrient requirements based on unit of product produced whether meat or egg. He has worked extensively on amino acid, vitamin, and mineral requirements. He has trained 34 graduate students and 13 visiting scholars who are active in the poultry industry and in universities around the world. Harms has published 561 peer refereed publications and authored over 500 popular articles for trade journals. Harms was a high school teacher for five years before earning his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Universities of Arkansas and Texas A & M, respectively. He was an associate professor at the University of Tennessee in 1957 before moving to the University of Florida where he chaired the department of poultry science for almost 20 years. He retired in 2002.

Richard L. Witter developed in part or in whole five of the seven currently licensed Marek’s disease vaccines, including turkey herpesvirus (1970), two serotype 2 vaccines. He discovered that mixing two or three Marek’s disease vaccines together is more effective than the individual components, which he termed “protective synergism.“ Witter and H.J. Kung discovered that retroviruses integrate into large DNA viruses. He defined early horizontal transmission of the subgroup J avian leucosis virus, important to establishment of rational virus eradication programs. Witter clarified the biological properties of reticuloendotheliosis viruses, including subtype differences, and epidemiology in chickens and turkeys. Witter began his career as a research veterinarian at the USDA, ARS in the Avian Disease & Oncology Laboratory in 1964. He retired in 2002, but continues to work as a research collaborator.

The American Poultry Historical Society was formed at the 1952 Boston Poultry Show. It has remained dedicated to the purpose of preserving historical records and honoring distinctive personal achievement. Preserved records are maintained in the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md. Including the 2007 inductees, 89 outstanding people have been inducted into the American Poultry Hall of Fame. Nominations for the 2010 Hall of Fame will be solicited in 2009.

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5m Editor