The Poultry Federation (TPF) is pleased to announce the three recipients of the 2012 Service Technician of the Year. They are:
-Birchie Hodge, Simmons Foods, 2012 Service Tech of the Year-Breeder/Pullet Division
-Tommy Hale, Butterball, LLC, 2012 Service Tech of the Year-Turkey Division
-Tonya Burt, Tyson Foods, Inc., 2012 Service Tech of the Year-Broiler Division
The winners were announced at the Service Technician Awards Ceremony during the annual spring symposium held Wednesday, April 25 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, AR.
Over 500 industry representatives were in attendance for the educational conference and vendor trade show. A total of 15 service technicians were nominated by their companies and their growers for outstanding service in their respective field in the industry. All 15 service technicians nominated have shown dedication to their companies and their growers above and beyond what is required of them. Diligent, knowledgeable, a great communicator, a hard worker – these were the words used to describe each of the nominees.
Birchie Hodge had many grower testimonies and several incidents described by growers where his input and assistance was valuable to the outcome of the pullet flock. He is known to growers as a service tech that works for the benefit of the company, yet is always fair and ready to go to bat for the grower. He has helped tremendously when growers experienced a personal crisis and needed additional assistance. Hodge has been employed with Simmons Foods for 22 years and has been a broiler service technician, a breeder service technician, and a new housing coordinator. He currently divides his time between servicing pullet sand working with newly retro-fitted housing and new construction on the breeder side.
Pictured above is Birchie Hodge (left) and Mike McConnell of Simmons Foods, Inc.
Other nominees in the Breeder/Pullet division included:
Warren Black, Keith Smith Company
Barry Dobbs, Tyson Foods-Springdale Complex
Tim Selsor, Tyson Foods-Green Forest
Jason Tyer, George’s-Springdale
Tommy Hale has worked at the Butterball Ozarks operation for the last 6 years. He formerly worked for another poultry company as a plant manager and serviced broiler and breeder farms as well. Currently he is responsible for the light hen program with 15 farms scattered over 3 counties. He manages a million square feet of housing and 2 million pounds of turkey each year. The turkey farms that he services are a wide variety of housing from conventional curtain sided to computer controlled tunnel ventilated. He is an extremely dedicated service technician and will go the extra mile to get the job done and to make his growers successful. He monitors and directs his growers to follow Best Management Practices and Animal Well Being. Performing above expectations is exceptional, but doing so with a positive attitude is another quality that makes him stand out. Hale was recently awarded Butterball's Service Tech of the Quarter award.
Bryan Delozier, Cargill-Springdale, was also nominated for Service Tech of the Year in the turkey division.
Pictured above is Tommy Hale (left) and Doug Pfeifler of Butterball, LLC.
Tonya Burt is a service tech in the broiler department at Tyson Foods in Sedalia, MO. She has been an important member of the team in converting their complex over to tunnel ventilation with controllers from conventional broiler barns. She is dedicated to helping the growers ease through this transition and improve their cost/performance along the way. Tonya developed a step-by-step grower guide for various controllers to gain optimal performance. This guide has been refined so that all service techs can use this information. She also developed a Broiler Production guide for growers to help them better understand all aspects of production. The reference guide included a broad range of articles including floor quality, house tightness, and highlighted ventilation techniques from leading experts in the industry. The manual has become a personal reference guide and is now given to each new grower to help them better understand all aspects of production from the time they are getting the chicks throughout the rest of the flock. Tonya has taken several bottom 10 percent growers and brought them to average within a year. She has also been a big part in training the last 3 service technicians that were hired.
Pictured above is Kevin Gibbs and Tonya Burt (right) of Tyson Foods, Inc.
Other nominees in the Broiler division included:
Jared Craig, George’s Inc.-Cassville
Steve Harrington, Wayne Farms-Danville
Bret Hendricks, Tyson Foods-Dardanelle
Wesley Horn, George’s-Springdale
Thomas Jenkins, Tyson Foods-Grannis Complex
Opal Payne, Simmons Foods-Siloam Springs
Gerald Stroebel, O.K. Farms-Fort Smith
The Poultry Federation is a tri-state trade association representing the poultry and egg industries in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Offices are located in Little Rock, AR, Jefferson City, MO, and Oklahoma City, OK. Contact the Little Rock office at 501-375-8131 for additional information.
Additional photos from the Service Tech Awards Ceremony and the Poultry Spring Symposium can be found on The Poultry Federation's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thepoultryfed.