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DENVER, Colo. -- It is not often an organization has the opportunity to recognize a member for 50 years of outstanding service to the industry. Ben Powell from Tennessee received this distinguished honor during the 2012 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Convention on Jan. 28, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Respectfully known to those around him as "Mr. Ben," Powell served the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association (TSPA) as secretary/treasurer from 1961 through 2011. That's 50 years of service!
"Without question, Mr. Ben has been the "go-to" man in Tennessee and his contributions are immeasurable," praised Bill Kuecker, Tennessee producer, as he presented the award.
The TSPA was officially incorporated in 1955 with Powell as a charter member. Powell's father served as treasurer until 1961 when the two positions were combined. At that time, Powell began his service to the industry and to the organization as secretary/treasurer. He recently stepped into a new role. By a unanimous vote, Powell has been made an honorary member of the TSPA board so that his experience and wisdom can be maintained.
"Recognition of Mr. Powell's service to the industry was a highlight of the convention," explains Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "This is a wonderful story of dedication and volunteer leadership."
"It has been a 'labor of love' to work with the finest people in the world and to make a small contribution toward the development of young people. The development of young people was my life's goal while working as a 4-H club agent and state 4-H specialist for nearly 40 years. There is no better vehicle to help young people develop than working with sheep," says Powell. "I see a bright future for the sheep industry in the southeastern states. Many thanks to ASI, my friends in TSPA and my family for making this recognition possible. I am truly honored."
"As sheep producers nation-wide move forward in this exciting time for our industry, we should strive to match the example of leadership, dedication and service set by Mr. Ben," concluded Kuecker. "Many thanks to this humble gentleman for 50 years of service."