The UK poultry sector is undeniably keen on its awards – ever willing to recognise talent lurking within its ranks.

But so too are our cousins across the water, judging by the deluge of award announcements landing in the Poultry World inbox this morning.

OK, so it’s their big annual get together – the International Poultry Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. But the US Poultry and Egg Association’s awards committee certainly seems to have gone to town.

Winner of the “Charles Beard Research Excellence Award”, for example, was Dr Sacit “Sarge” Bilgili, for his work improving the efficiency and quality of broilers. Fair enough.

But the Forager’s eyebrows (if indeed he has any) were raised by some of the others.

The US Poultry and Egg Association’s entire Financial Management Seminar Planning Committee – all eight of them – were recognised with an annual “Lamplighter” award, for “sustained and exemplary service to the poultry and egg industry”. Plaques were also presented to American Cool Air Corporation and DSM Nutritional Products, simply for having exhibited at the IPE event for quite a long time.

The Forager’s favourite, however, has to be the “Industry Workhorse of the Year” award, presented to the association’s president John Starkey, “in recognition of dedicated service and valuable leadership”.

There is little doubt that Mr Starkey was deserving of such an accolade, following seven years “in the saddle”. But being made to parade around dressed as a carthorse does seem a bit harsh….WorkhorseofYear_Starkey