Seventy-five years ago, poultry and egg leaders met in May of 1947 in Atlanta to discuss a variety of issues affecting the industry. Seeing an opportunity for collective action to address problems too large for one person or company to solve, the meeting resulted in the creation of a new “all-feather” association representing broiler growers, turkey growers, egg producers, hatcheries, processors, and feed and allied companies. Arrangements were also made for a “poultry convention” in January 1948.

From these early beginnings, we have seen what was then the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association grow into what is now known as the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, or USPOULTRY, as we like to call it.

From its inception, the goal of USPOULTRY has been to serve the poultry and egg industry and its members. After 75 years of evolving though, we are not resting on our laurels … or feathers, per se! We continue to find new and innovative ways to serve our members. 

Early on, association leaders recognized the importance of continuing education for managers to keep up with the rapid changes and advancements occurring in the industry. This is demonstrated through USPOULTRY’s International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo, which will also be celebrating its 75th anniversary in January 2023. It can further be seen in our Seminar Program, including the oldest, still-running seminar, the Poultry Processor Workshop, which was established in 1958. Another ongoing legacy has been USPOULTRY’s Research Program, with more than $34 million reinvested back into the industry in the form of competitive research grants. Additionally, the USPOULTRY Foundation allocates funds to more than 30 schools, including six schools with poultry science degrees, to recruit students into poultry-related courses or degree programs.

Technical services are also provided to the industry via USPOULTRY’s Environmental, Food Safety and Production, and Worker Safety / Risk Management Programs. Another unique service USPOULTRY provides to sister trade associations is IT support, built on the IT expertise USPOULTRY developed to manage the International Poultry Expo and its own activities. Furthermore, the Education Program has been expanded to include extensive training and learning mechanisms. At present, USPOULTRY’s comprehensive list of annual conferences, workshops, and clinics help keep every segment of poultry and egg management informed and up-to-date, with new programs being created to meet new challenges. The Communications Program has also evolved to include a multi-tiered approach to internal and external communication. Communication materials are offered through a variety of sources, including print, digital, and video formats. Communication outreach has been extended even further through social media outlets, with new communications opportunities being considered on a regular basis.

USPOULTRY continues to be as dynamic as the industry it serves, constantly evolving and offering innovative ways to provide research, technical services, learning experiences, and communication to meet the challenges of the future.

Gwen Venable is executive vice president, communications, at U.S. Poultry & Egg Association