Day set to be honored at AGNR 2019 alumni event
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Perdue Farms’ CEO Randy Day will receive the Distinguished Terrapin award, the highest award given to alumni of the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the AGNR Alumni Network’s Eat, Drink and Be Maryland event on March 26.
Day recieved a master’s degree in poultry nutrition from the University of Maryland in 1979 and soon after began a 39-year career with Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness.
He was named CEO in March 2017, just the fourth CEO overall and second non-Perdue family member to hold the position in the company’s 99-year history.
Day said as a graduate student, one conversation with an advisor stands out as most impactful.
“The single most important conversation I’ve ever had was an interaction with Dr. Owen Thomas, the man in charge of my fate as an admitted graduate student,” Day said in a recent interview with university staff. “You know Randy I’m looking at your resume, your grades are poor and you obviously spend a lot of time with extracurriculars.
“But I see something in your GREs and our conversation today tells me I should take a chance on you. I swore in that moment that I would never let him down.”
Day added a career path in agriculture can be demanding but there is also high demand for students on that path.
“Research shows there is no alternative to food. We all have to eat and the need for food is exploding,” Day said. “Additionally, there is a massive need in the world of food production whether it’s small farming or large farming, five or 5,000 acres.
“There are myriad professional opportunities in whatever discipline you choose.”
Along with recognizing Day, the March 26 event will explore the college’s research and partnerships with farm businesses.
Hops research will be featured with a tasting of Flying Dog Brewery’s Field Notes Beer, made with UMD-grown hops.
Alumni representing Palmyra Cheese, Miller Farms, Butler’s Orchard and Robin Hill Vineyard and Winery will also share their products and experience.
The event is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Samuel Riggs Alumni Center on the College Park Campus.
Tickets are $30 for alumni association members and $50 for non-members.
Registration is available online at https://umd.alumniq.com/index.cfm/events:register/home/eventId/405.
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