The Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker of the Year Award

Annually, the Poultry Industry Council recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the poultry industry. The award is presented to an individual who has given outstanding service to the poultry industry over the years which can include a broad range of criteria. The person may have made a significant and lasting difference, or some specific contribution, or may simply have vast networks and has maintained these over the years which as a result has moved the industry forward.

Nominations for 2023 will be accepted until August 14, 2023.

To nominate an individual who you feel is deserving of this prestigious honour, please provide as much information to support your nomination as possible.  Provide us with your name, company/organization/farm name, a contact email, along with your nominee’s name and contact information.  Include a succinct description of this person’s accomplishments within the poultry industry, no more than two pages long.  To download a nomination form click here.

Please submit your nominations by email to All nominations will be screened by an independent panel that then makes the final assessment and decision.

As always the successful candidate should not be aware that this is happening, so discretion is required.  Tentative date of award presentation - November 14, 2023, at PIC's Innovation Conference, Guelph, ON.

Helen Wojcinski the 2019 Recipient of the Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker Award 


Due to the impact of COVID-19 and AI the 2019 recipient award presentation was made at the Turkey Farmers of Ontario, Annual General Meeting, on March 10, 2023.

4 of them   helen sarah

Left Picture: PIC's Chair, Caroline Gonano, Sarah Thomson, of Hendrix Genetics, Award Recipent, Dr. Helen Wojcinski and PIC's Executive Director, Ashley Honsberger

Right Picture: Sarah and Helen

Photos courtesy of Turkey Farmers of Ontario.

Dr. Helen Wojcinski joined the Turkey Farmers of Ontario in person Annual General Meeting in London this past week to receive the esteemed Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker for 2019. After three years of delays and virtual events, the award was formally handed over to a well deserving mentor of the industry. 

The Poultry Worker award is given out by the Poultry Industry Council to recognize an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution, or has given outstanding service to the industry, which as a result has moved the industry forward. 

After 30 years of dedicated service, Helen recently retired from Hybrid Turkeys/Hendrix Genetics as the Science and Sustainability Manager but she continues to stay engaged in the industry today through consulting. She is well known for her contributions to animal health and welfare as well as for her veterinary and technical expertise.  

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Helen many times over my years in the industry,” says Poultry Industry Council Chair Caroline Gonano. “we first met when I was starting in the industry at my PAACO training and since then I’ve conferred with Helen many times on technical questions and more that have helped to progress the industry.” 

Helen is also an industry advocate and has supported many associations over the years including the American Association of Avian Pathologists, PAACO, National Poultry Improvement Plan, and the National Turkey Federation.   

In addition to being one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, she has also been a great mentor to many young veterinarians and animal science students, especially young women entering the industry. 

“Helen is a strong, knowledgeable leader in agriculture who has helped build the turkey industry globally.” says Sarah Thomson of Hendrix Genetics who nominated Helen for the award, “Through her hard work and dedication to improving health, welfare and sustainability within the turkey industry she was a trailblazer in a male-dominated industry opening the door for many other young women.” 

Aside from being a turkey industry advocate and go-to expert speaker, Helen “has made a huge impact in the turkey industry globally and is one of those special people who can connect a diverse group of people and facilitate a great conversation to move the needle forward.” says Sarah. 

For a more information on the Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker award: 

Past Recipients

Please note: Recipients cannot receive this award more than once.
Names are listed alphabetically.

Recipient's Name Year Awarded
George Anderson  
Liz Black  
Debbie Carroll 2015
Jim Couse  
John Dillaine  
Ian Duncan 2012
Charlie Elliott 2020
Norm Epps  
Art Ferguson  
Doug Galt  
Ken Gartley  
Bob Guy 2018
Bob Hampson  
Keith Harron  
Jim Henry  
Brian Herman 2009
Bruce Hunter 2000
Craig Hunter 2008
Len Jewitt 2005
Dick Julian  
Doug Key  
John Lancaster  
Paul Leatherbarrow 2002
Steven Leeson 2012
Don Luckham  
Bruce Main  
James McIntosh 2014
Dave Mitchell  
Doug Morrison  
Tim Nelson 2013
Rachel Ouckama 1997
Harry Pelissaro 2021
Jim Pettit  
Cynthia Phillipe  
Maurice Smith 2002
Lloyd Spencer  
Dave Stitzinger  
John Summers 2016
Conrad Van Dijk  
Lloyd Weber  
Bert West  
Bruce Winkler 1999
Helen Wojcinski 2019