Jun 02, 2016

AMSA announces that William Benjy Mikel has been named an AMSA Fellow and is a recipient of the 2016 AMSA Signal Service Award. The AMSA Signal Service Award was established in 1956 and is given to members in recognition of devoted service and lasting contributions to the meat industry and to the association. The Signal Service Award is sponsored by Cargill, Elanco Animal Health and Johnsonville Sausage Company, LLC. Mikel will be honored at an Awards banquet during the AMSA 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in San Angelo, Texas.

Benjy grew up in southern Alabama on a small family farm, igniting his love for agriculture. During his younger years he was an avid athlete and active in 4-H and FFA, earning the American Farmer Degree. He pursued an education in agriculture at Auburn, but it was his involvement in meat judging that led to his pursuing his MS and PhD in Meat Science. For 30 years Dr. Mikel has taken technical information and converted it into industry friendly training pieces that not only made sense, but challenged users to engage and think. Benjy has served at three academic institutions over the past 25 years with predominant roles in Extension; Auburn University, University of Kentucky and Mississippi State University. At UK, he founded and led the Food Systems Innovation Center and at MSU, he headed the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, was interim Head of Poultry Science and served as Associate VP for International Programs. He traveled to over 25 countries with 38 different projects related to food security, capacity building, and technology development in both post-conflict and developing countries.

Benjy also spent a portion of time over his career consulting domestically and globally as a trainer, auditor, processing authority and technical advisor to many private companies and non-government organizations. In 2013 he founded WPF Technical Services, an offshoot of TWINS LLC, a food safety and quality based consulting group. He has an outstanding record of achievement in food/ meat science, extension and industry service and agricultural/ food security capacity building. During his career Benjy has managed over $18 million in program funding with over 275 publications and presentations. Dr. Mikel has recently served as the President of the American College of Animal Sciences, President of the American Meat Science Association, President of Phi Tau Sigma and President of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists Department Heads while receiving numerous awards including the Achievement Award and the Distinguished Industry/ Extension Award from AMSA. Currently, he serves as Chief Business Development and Sales Officer for John R White Company, a food ingredient company based in Birmingham, AL and is part owner of Driver Farms in South Alabama, a fourth Generation family farm. He and his wife Linda of 27 years reside in Louisville, KY with their Bassett Hound and Belgium Malinois, while their son Ryan will enter New York University this Fall studying liberal arts while pursuing a career in classical ballet.


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