Benjamin S. Pomeroy (1911 – 2004)
Commercial poultry producers can attribute a great deal of their present-day success to the lifetime accomplishments of Dr. Benjamin S. Pomeroy. Thanks to his work at the University of Minnesota’s avian disease program, producers today speak of once devastating poultry diseases — salmonellosis, mycoplasmosis, fowl typhoid, and more — in the past tense.
Pomeroy has always been accessible to those with questions, concerns, or crises. Though a unique and talented individual, he seldom acted alone. In fact, quite the contrary; Pomeroy loved to build teams. Over the years, his rare gifts of personality, poise, and persuasion have brought together government, regulatory agencies, producers, industry, communities, researchers, and others to produce outstanding results for all concerned.
When he began his career, producers talked of farm flocks with a few dozen birds. Today, commercial producers speak in thousands and millions. Yet, through all the times in between, Pomeroy held fast to his belief that only by working with individuals could the needs of such a dynamic industry be addressed. So, one at a time, he made himself available to those who needed his help. And in the end, with help from thousands, he helped to change the face of avian production.
In 1985, Pomeroy was the inspiration and catalyst that brought contributions totaling more than $1 million to the University of Minnesota to establish the nation’s first endowed chair called the Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health at the College of Veterinary Medicine.