Egg Industry Center board member Steve George was recognized at the 2022 International Production & Processing Expo with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's Lamplighter Award for his sustained and exemplary service to the poultry and egg industry.
Former President and CEO of Fremont Farms of Iowa, LLP, George said, "I am so thankful to the Iowa Poultry Association for the nomination. There are so many great people in this industry, and it is very humbling to be honored in this way."
George's educational background includes a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Given George's non-ag educational path, the egg industry ended up being the unique beneficiary of his path and perspectives.
"I grew up on a farm outside of Sioux City, Iowa. We had livestock, but we mostly did crops. My Dad was progressive, and we used a lot of technology [for that time]. So when I went to school, I focused on the computer and technology aspect of things," said George. Prior to joining Fremont Farms in 2002, George held executive positions with the IBM Corporation working with design engineering and product management. He then worked with Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc. in corporate development and infrastructure project finance, as well as a regional investment banking firm. "I can say that everything in my background helped me be a better manager in this industry," said George.
With most people starting in the tech industry staying in tech industry, how did George reach the egg industry? "I wasn't really looking to make a change," said George. "I ran into someone who was involved in a search process and so I decided to research the industry on my own." George decided to attend the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention to learn about the industry and visit with some of its people. "I found the industry is large enough to be interesting and provide opportunities, but small enough you could enjoy getting to know people," said George. "I also really like how the egg industry is consumer-facing. Many parts of Ag are two or three steps away from consumers, but every consumer can relate in some capacity to eggs," said George. "We have a high public profile, and our constituents have many questions making it important for our industry to engage in meaningful and creative ways."
George stayed in the egg industry for 20 years, longer than his other career paths, and he says he sees a great future for the industry. He encourages those within and outside the egg industry to engage. "Obviously, the more experience you have in a particular industry, the better, but there is room for everyone here because there are so many aspects of the industry to get involved in," he said. "We are fortunate to have many talented and dedicated producers and stakeholders in this industry. It takes all kinds of perspectives to be successful.”
During his egg industry career, George served in many capacities. He currently serves on the boards of the Egg Industry Center, United Egg Producers, and American Egg Board. He is the immediate past chairman of the American Egg Board and also past chair of UEP's Environmental Committee. Besides his involvement in Fremont Farms of Iowa, he is also a partner/investor in Iowa Cage-Free and other businesses.
The Egg Industry Center congratulates Steve George on this well-deserved honor. Thank you for your leadership and dedication to the U.S. egg industry.
Photo: Pictured are Greg Hinton (left), Rose Acre Farms, and USPOULTRY outgoing chairman presenting Steve George (right) the lamplighter award. Photo credit: USPOULTRY