NCC Chairman Ben Harrison and Mike Welch

Michael Welch, former president and CEO of Harrison Poultry, a position he held for 25 years, and past National Chicken Council chairman of the board was elected to be a NCC Honorary Lifetime Member at the NCC’s recent annual conference held in Washington, D.C. on November 2.  Welch served as NCC chairman of the board from 2007-2008.  Newly installed NCC Chairman Ben Harrison presented Welch with a framed certificate done by hand by local calligraphers stating his status as a NCC Lifetime Member.

Former NCC President George Watts officially performed the introduction and congratulated Mike for his “untiring service to NCC and the poultry industry as a whole as well as for his generous philanthropy.”

On many occasions, Welch served as a  witness  testifying on Capitol Hill on the industry’s behalf on issues ranging from ethanol policy to exports.

In his presentation,  Watts also pointed out that philanthropy is one of Welch’s core principles.  After Haiti suffered a hugely destructive earthquake in 2010, Welch arranged, despite difficult logistics,  to send one container of shelf-stable chicken to Haiti.  In the end, Welch, working with his industry friends, managed to ship 17 containers of chicken to Haiti.

Welch also worked with the Love A Child organization, a non-profit humanitarian group and orphanage in Haiti, to support the organization through personal donations and expertise, helping to launch a chicken cooperative.  That cooperative today has 10 chicken houses of 500 chickens each, both layers and broilers.

The National Chicken Council created the position of Honorary Lifetime  Member in 1981 to honor and recognize those who gave more than what was expected to the National Chicken Council. Mike is the 20th Honorary Lifetime Member to be so recognized.  Other recently inducted members include Charles C. Allen III, Ronald Cameron, Tam Etheridge, George Matthews and Leland Tollett.

Welch, now retired from Harrison Poultry, serves on the board of the World Poultry Federation as well as being vice chairman.