Daniel L. Fletcher, internationally recognised poultry researcher, teacher, mentor and administrator died July 16, 2012, at the age of 63.
He received BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Florida before joining the faculty of the Department of Poultry Science at the University of Georgia as an assistant professor in 1977 and was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and full professor in 1990. While at UGA he received 11 awards for teaching and research from his department and college (UGA Outstanding Faculty Award 1986, 1991, 2002; D. W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research, 2002; Gamma Sigma Delta and Alpha Zeta Awards).
His research on egg yolk and broiler skin color work led to improved analysis of egg yolk and broiler skin color and evaluation of pigment sources. His research on early rigor, antemortem stress and early processing factors has contributed to the understanding of the effects of production and processing methods on poultry meat color, texture, shelf life and overall quality. They also address regulatory and animal welfare concerns in the poultry processing industry. Over one million dollars of research support and grants were awarded to support his work which also led to the publication of 143 refereed journal articles and 292 abstracts, proceedings, invited papers and trade publications. Fletcher was active in professional societies, serving on the editorial and review boards of nine journals, including Poultry Science, of which he was a Section Editor for many years.
The quality and impact of his research resulted in his receiving nearly every major research award in the discipline of poultry science. He was the recipient of the American Egg Board Research Award (1980), Broiler Research Award (1990), the Continental Grain Poultry Products Research Award (1991), the Merck Award for Achievement in Poultry Science (1999) and he was elected a Fellow of the Poultry Science Association in 2005.
Fletcher was also internationally known as a poultry scientist. He did a sabbatical at Spelderholt Institute in the Netherlands (1990), participated in European poultry symposia, and cooperated with the University of Bologna and the University of Helsinki. He was on the World’s Poultry Science Association (USA) Branch Board of Directors and was President from 1995-1999. He received the University of Helsinki Medal (1994) and was elected into the International Poultry Hall of Fame (2008).