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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. Due to the impact of COVID-19 the 2019 & 2020 recipient award presentation will be made shortly-- stay tuned!

Charlie Elliott the 2020 Recipient of the Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker Award 

Charlie and Ed
PIC's Chair, Ed Verkley presenting Charlie Elliott with the award at PIC's Golf Tournament with 175 industry representatives, producers, friends and family in attendance.

With members of his family in the audience along with the attendees of the Poultry Industry Council (PIC) annual charity golf tournament on September 7, 2022, Charlie Elliot was surprised to learn he was the second winner of the “Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker” award for 2020.

The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution, or has given outstanding service to the poultry industry, which as a result has moved the industry forward.  

Charlie has been working in the industry for over 43 years primarily in feed inputs, starting a long career after graduating from University of Guelph and taking his first job at a small feed mill outside of Ridgetown, Ontario.

Over his career Charlie has been recognized as an advocate for education, extension and making the best information accessible for Ontario poultry farmers. Up until recently he was an active member of the PIC board serving two long terms with a special focus on helping new poultry producers get going in the industry. Charlie is described as having an immense curiosity for staying ahead of new information and technologies, and wanting to actively engage in driving improvements at the farm level through ongoing learning and sharing.

Now working as the Ontario Poultry Sales Manager at Masterfeeds, Charlie is joined by his son Ian Elliott at Masterfeeds as the Swine Business manager. 

Harry Pelissero the 2021 Recipient of the Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker Award 

Ed and Harry   harry

Photos courtesy of Farm Boy Productions.

Harry Pelissero, former General Manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO), has been awarded the Poultry Industry Council (PIC) “Ed McKinlay Poultry Worker” award for 2021. The award was presented at the EFO AGM June 9th, 2022, and recognizes 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.   

Harry is widely recognized for his leadership to the staff and Board of EFO as General Manager from 2003 to 2020. Harry was supported by a vast background in the agricultural industry as he grew up on an egg and fruit farm in St. Catharines as a third-generation farmer. 

“We are very pleased to be giving this award to Harry after a long and successful career in the poultry sector,” says PIC Board chair Ed Verkley. “Taking time to recognise such significant accomplishments reminds us of all the progress we’ve made over time, and helps new folks to the industry see real leadership in action.”

As general manager of EFO Harry played an integral role, both provincially and nationally, in representing EFO on Industrial Product and Nutrient Management, and he was instrumental in bringing the EFO’s On-Farm Food Safety Plan to fruition. 

Harry was deeply committed to EFO’s Values and Vision through Strategic Planning; ensuring EFO was well-positioned to respond to all emergency situations; and as a result of his excellent interpersonal skills Harry ensured positive relationships with all industry partners. 

Harry’s spotlight is was never far from the ‘egg’ in as his never-ending quest for opportunities to increase egg consumption and egg usage was shown through research and promotion.

“We have a few more awards to give out over the next little while as we are catching up from delays due to the pandemic,” says Verkley. “I look forward to sharing more stories about other leaders in our sector soon.”

Nominations for 2022 are open throughout the year and will close on October 31, 2022.

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.

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