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Source: U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn

Harold Ford, retired executive director of what was then Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association (now U.S. Poultry & Egg Association), died Friday, December 14, 2012. Visitation will be Sunday, December, 16, from 4 - 6 p.m. at A.S. Turner Funeral Home in Decatur, GA. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 17, at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, GA.

In 1954, Harold, a Kentucky native, originally joined the Association staff at its headquarters in Richmond, VA. He had previously served as assistant commissioner of agriculture in Kentucky. In 1957, Harold was named executive secretary of the Association, commonly called SOUTHEASTERN. The headquarters was moved to Decatur, GA.

In 1961, Harold left the Association to join Mar-Jac Poultry Company in Gainesville, GA. In 1967, after several years with Mar-Jac and Sanderson Farms in Mississippi, Harold was asked by the SOUTHEASTERN board of directors to return as executive secretary. He guided the Association to prominence as one of the most effective and influential trade associations, not only in the poultry industry, but throughout the United States. He grew the organization's signature event, the International Poultry Expo, still held annually in Atlanta, to become the largest, preeminent poultry industry convention and trade show in the world.

Harold retired in 1992. The Association's foundation is named after him, along with the organization's highest recognition, the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award. Harold also was inducted into the Poultry Industry Hall of Fame.

Following his retirement from SOUTHEASTERN, Harold was active in volunteer work with organizations such as Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Prevent Blindness Georgia, the Paralympics, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. He served as a deacon in the Baptist faith most of his adult life. During World War II, he was a U.S. Marine in the South Pacific. Harold also was an avid golfer. He was preceded in death by his wife Wanda. He is survived by three daughters: Karen, Debbie, and Anita, along with grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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