Charles Walter Beard
AAAP Hall of Honor

Charlie was born in Tifton, GA (USA). He attended the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for the first year of his pre-veterinary  courses then the University of Georgia  where he received the DVM cum laude in 1955. He studied under Professor Bernard C. Easterday at the University of Wisconsin and received the MS degree in 1964 and the PhD in 1965. Charlie is a Founding Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.
He operated a mixed veterinary practice upon graduating from veterinary college in his home town for a year before joining the District of Columbia as a Dairy Farm Inspector. He then entered the US Army Veterinary Corps as a 1/Lt in 1958 and was stationed at the US Army Biological Warfare Laboratory at Fort Detrick, MD where he worked in the Aerobiology Division. He stayed on as a civilian employee at Fort Detrick at the end of his military service. After a total of six years active and reserve military service he was discharged at the rank of Captain.
Upon receiving his PhD, Charlie joined the research staff of the USDA/ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, GA. He conducted studies on respiratory diseases of poultry, particularly Newcastle disease and avian influenza. He developed a simple and economical agar gel (AGP) test capable of detecting antibodies against any type A influenza. That test has received wide use since being published in 1970 and is still considered the standard avian influenza  antibody test  in 2016. He became the Laboratory Director in 1972 and was significantly involved in the design and construction of a high level disease containment building that included both laboratory and animal housing  space. The building was dedicated in 1975 and after some recent improvements is still being successfully used after 41 years. He was also involved in the development of housing for disease-free chickens using filtered air under  positive pressure (FAPP)  to preserve their disease-free status. The FAPP system is widely utilized by poultry breeders and vaccine companies to help keep their valuable SPF chicken stocks safe from introduced disease agents.
Charlie joined the staff of the US Poultry & Egg Association as Vice President for Research upon his retirement from federal service in 1993. He administered their competitive grants program, funding poultry related research in university and government laboratories and advised the association and industry on important matters of disease and food safety.
Honors include induction in the Agricultural Research Service USDA “Science Hall of Fame”, the USDA “Award for Superior Service” from the Secretary of Agriculture, and the “Distinguished Alumnus of the Year” Award by the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Georgia. He served as President of the American Association of Avian Pathologists in 1984-85 and received their AAAP Service Award in 1993.
He has served as President of the Athens Rotary Club, and was a member of the Clarke County School Board for six years. Charlie loves to fly and built his experimental LongEZ plane in his basement over a seven-year period. He test flew it in 1987. Both he and the plane are still flying!
Charlie and Valerie were married in 1960 after meeting on a blind date. They have two sons, Russell and Clayton and two daughters, Sarah and Laura. They are also quite proud of their seven grand children.