Birch McMurray
AAAP Hall of Honor

Birch was born in 1931 in Polk County, North Carolina. He received a BS degree from NC State University and the DVM magna cum laude in 1957 from UGA.  He is a diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and an honorary member of the MAM Alumni Association.

On January 1st, 1958, he became director of the new North East Florida Poultry Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for three years. He had found his calling as a Poultry Veterinarian and joined the Feed Research Department of Central Soya in Decatur, Indiana, under the direction of Dr. W. W. Cravens. 
He introduced the concept of a total program where nutrition, farm husbandry, disease prevention and control for specific breeds was used and proved to be very successful.  Birch became director of the veterinary group that grew to six veterinarians that included Dr. Daniel Wenger. Duties of the group were: 1) operating a large poultry disease diagnostic laboratory, 2) providing technical service to poultry feed customers both domestically, internationally and to company owned operations where we “practiced what we preached”, and 3) conducting applied research on salmonella, coccidiosis, infectious bronchitis, Marek’s, mycoplasma, and foul cholera. Many of the research projects were in conjunction with nutritionists, CDC, PDRC, extension service, Poultry Science Department and cooperating biological and pharmaceutical companies. 
Realizing the need for veterinarians in the Poultry Industry, a program was initiated to employ an interested student each summer.  This expanded to also working closely with MAM students.  Several MAMs externed with him and lifelong friendships developed. Both programs were very successful. 
He transferred to the International Division of Central Soya and spent the first year in Lille, France and worked in several foreign countries.  He later moved back to Athens, Georgia to work full time with Central Soya’s company owned operations. Later Central Soya sold the company owned division and he worked for Seaboard Farms for thirteen years until retirement. For the next ten years he worked as a consultant for the poultry industry both domestically and internationally.
His professional contributions include member of the Scientific Program Committee, Chairman of the Salmonella Committee, delegate to the AVMA, and president of AVBP and AAAP.  Awards and recognitions are:  The Cab Battorf Award, the A.M. Mills Award, Life Member of AAAP, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UGA Veterinary School. Nonprofessional awards include Kiwanian of the Year and Laity Service Award for the First United Methodist Church of Morganton, N.C. 
Birch and Nancy have been married for 61 years; have three children and five grandchildren. Hobbies and activities include hunting, playing bridge, care of the family Century Farm, family activities, and providing fire wood for the needy through the local Christian Ministry. He is proud to be a Veterinarian and to have served the Poultry Industry for 48 years.