U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) presented the organization’s annual Lamplighter Award to five individuals at the International Poultry Expo, part of the 2022 International Production & Processing Expo. The award pays tribute to individuals for “sustained and exemplary service” to the poultry and egg industry.

Among the award’s recipients were “Pic” Billingsley of Sanderson Farms and Dr. Karen Christensen with Tyson Foods.

Bob “Pic” Billingsley – Billingsley is director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms and served on the USPOULTRY board of directors for six years. Billingsley, a member of Sanderson Farms’ Executive Committee, has served in various capacities throughout his more than 35-plus year tenure with the company, beginning his career in the poultry industry shortly after his graduation from college.

In addition to his personal involvement and support of various USPOULTRY committees, Billingsley is a former chairman of the Mississippi Poultry Association, former director and chairman of the Association for Excellence in Education and a recipient of the Robert E. Gaddis Education Award. He served on the governor’s Mississippi Energy Policy Institute and on the board for the Salvation Army, and he has been an active member of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.

Dr. Karen Christensen – Christensen is senior director of animal wellbeing at Tyson Foods. She received her BS and MS in Animal Science from Washington State University and completed her Ph.D. in Poultry Physiology from Mississippi State University. She has worked with H&N International, Draper Valley Farms and OK Foods. Before joining Tyson Foods, she was an associate professor in poultry at the University of Arkansas.

Christensen has been involved in the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) for several years. She has served on the board of the organization, as well as served as committee chair for training and education. Christensen has also served as chair of the Poultry Science Association’s Welfare Committee.

In addition to Billingsley and Christensen, three other industry leaders were recognized with the association’s Lamplighter Award, including: Steve George, president and chief executive officer of Fremont Farms; Warren Howe, vice president of Woodruff & Howe Environmental Engineering; and Steve Woodruff, president and chief executive officer of Woodruff & Howe Environmental Engineering.