George Watts, retiring president of the National Chicken Council, was honored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association during the 2011 International Poultry Expo, where he received the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious honor was presented to Watts by Don Dalton, recipient of the 2008 Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award and past president of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
The Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual whose dedication and leadership over the years have far exceeded the ordinary and impacted both the poultry industry and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in an exemplary manner. The award is presented non-annually and when the Awards and Recognition Committee unanimously recognizes and endorses the need for occasional, unique recognition for exceptional contributions.
"For almost four decades, George has made definable contributions that have helped advance the broiler industry," remarked Don Dalton. "George has labored diligently and efficiently on behalf of the industry, and his touch can be seen and felt on many of the initiatives and programs that have contributed to the industry’s success. He has been a visionary in evaluating the industry’s future needs and has acted to address those needs. George is well respected and thought of within the industry; and his legacy will be felt for many years to come."
Comments John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY, "George has been influential in leveraging industry effectiveness through the development of partnerships and collaborations with other trade associations. Under his direction, a single Environmental Committee and Human Resources and Safety Committee now represent the interests of NCC, NTF, and USPOULTRY. George’s determination to enhance these partnerships extended beyond making the National Chicken Council successful, to making the entire industry and affiliated organizations successful. The hallmark of George’s career has been the integrity which forms the foundation of every relationship he cultivates. George’s voice is heeded, respected and trusted by friend and opponent alike, in good times and in bad."
A graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science, Watts served as Administrative and Legislative Assistant for two Members of Congress, both of whom served on the House Committee on Agriculture, before joining the National Chicken Council (formerly National Broiler Council) in 1972. He is past president of the Georgia State Society, a former member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Food and Agriculture Committee, a former president and director of the Commodity Club of Washington, former chairman of the Food Group, former out-of-state vice president and director of the University of Georgia Alumni Society, and a member of the American Society of Association Executives. He served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board from 2006-2009.
Watts currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Poultry Development Program joint-venture broiler project in Russia (Elinar Broiler). He received the Poultry Industry Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Poultry and Food Distributors Association in January 2002 and the Merial Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award at the 2009 Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is an all-feather organization representing the complete spectrum of today’s poultry industry, with a focus on serving member companies through research funding, education, communication, and technical assistance. Founded in 1947, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is based in Tucker, GA.