Gerald F. Bailey
Gerald Bailey of Cullman, retired live production manager for Gold Kist Inc., was born in Winston County, Alabama, and then moved to Walker County when he was two years old. Bailey is known as a tireless public servant for agriculture, and the poultry industry in particular.
Bailey entered the Army in January of his senior year of high school during the Korean War. While in the Army, he completed his GED and, two years later, returned home to work for two years before starting college. He then attended Jacksonville State University for a year and eventually transferred to Auburn University, where he majored in business administration.
Paying for school was a financial challenge, and Bailey found himself working full time while in school and often skipping a quarter to work in construction or logging in order to save money for college costs. In 1958, he dropped out of school and never returned to finish his degree. That same year he joined his wife, Loretta, in her family’s dairy business.
In 1964, Bailey’s poultry career began in earnest. He went to work with the Pillsbury Company supervising a de-beaking crew, then moved up through the ranks. When Pillsbury was bought by Gold Kist in 1971, Bailey was promoted to field operations manager and took on the responsibility for total live production for the operation.
By 1972, Bailey was elected to the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association’s board of directors and was elected president in 1978. He remained active on the board until his retirement in 2001. He served as chairman of a committee to establish a state diagnostic laboratory and was chair of the committee that helped raise money for the Auburn University Poultry Science Research Farm. Through his efforts, the research farm has received on-going funding from the Alabama Legislature.
Bailey was also instrumental in fundraising for the AU Poultry Science Building and has worked tirelessly for the AU Department of Poultry Science and College of Agriculture as chairman of the Auburn Relations Committee and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. He also served on the advisory board for the Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, on the Auburn University Research Council, and has for more than 20 years served as the chairman of the AU Poultry Science Advisory Board.
The Baileys have two children, Greg (Melissa) and Cheryl, and two grandsons, Ryan and Kevin.