Caring, forward-thinking, mentor, and inspiring are among the words used by peers, employees, and friends to described John Pittard. The AlaTrade Foods executive and Monticello, Georgia, native, was inducted into the Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame in a Nov. 2, 2022, ceremony at Gunter’s Landing in Guntersville.
“This is a great honor that many other people deserve besides me,” said Pittard. “I’m honored to be selected as the 2022 Poultry Hall of Fame Inductee and want to thank those who helped me get here.”
Pittard grew up on his family’s poultry farm and went on to attend the University of Georgia where he majored in Poultry Science.
Pittard began his career with Spring Valley Foods in Gadsden, Alabama, which would later become Tyson Foods. In 2006, Pittard became President of AlaTrade Foods, a further processing company that debones over 4 million chickens weekly with plants in Albertville, Boaz, and Phenix City. Pittard is still employed with AlaTrade.
“John Pittard’s 40 years in the Alabama poultry industry and his commitment to his employees has set him apart from other applicants,” said Casey Jones, APEA Past President and Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chair. “Pittard truly cares about everyone who worked with him, and he continues to set the bar high for others in the poultry industry.”
Along with working over 40 years in the poultry industry, Pittard has served the industry’s association for more than 35 years. The pinnacle being his presidency of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association in 2010.
During his time as president, Pittard made strides to strengthen the association’s membership base as well as the connections with Alabama senators and representatives. During Pittard’s presidency, the catastrophic 2011 tornadoes hit Alabama. He didn’t hesitate to jump into action — raising money for those effected by the tornadoes, many whom were not directly associated with the poultry industry.
“John was one of the first industry leaders I met when I began my career with APEA over 20 years ago,” said Alabama Poultry and Egg Association’s CEO Johnny Adams. “He has played a tremendous roll in the success of our association as well as the poultry industry. He’s always been ready to step up and lead when he was needed. He is most deserving to be inducted into the Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame.”
When Pittard is not working, he’s most likely to be found on a golf course.
Pittard and his wife of 30 years, Denise, have six children and several grandchildren.