NIAA presents Timoney with 2012 Meritorious Service award for his contributions to agricultureWritten by Saige Albert
Peter Timoney of the University of Kentucky received the prestigious Meritorious Service Award.
NIAA has given the Meritorious Service Award since 2007, which honors a member for extensive contributions or has given exemplary service to agriculture groups and the NIAA.
The 2012 Meritorious Service Award was given to Timoney after years of service to the equine industry, both in Ireland and in the U.S. Timoney has served as chair of the NIAA equine committee and two terms on the NIAA board of directors. He is currently serving as professor and chair of the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky.
“It has been a pleasure. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t want to do it, and if I didn’t feel I was doing something of direct service of this industry,” said Timoney on receiving the award. “You’ve got to, at the end of the day, feel some sense of tangible satisfaction in return for your efforts, and for me, over many years, that sense of satisfaction is to feel that you have done something of service to someone.”
Timoney continued that he treasured the years of service he has spent working with NIAA and serving the agriculture industry, both in the U.S. and in his native country, Ireland.
“Agriculture, to me – it doesn’t matter whether we are talking about an animal commodity or plant commodity – is all part of the same jigsaw,” he commented. “We are dealing with and increasingly contentious, aggressive public that doesn’t appear to have any sense of gratitude with respect to the sector of society that puts food on the plate. They don’t accept the reality that we are so fortunate in this country in having safe, plentiful and wonderful food to eat.”
“I can only say in summary, I am deeply moved and extremely privileged to be accorded this honor and distinction,” he stated. “For me, it’s been a wonderful ride, and I personally thank everyone in this organization for their support, for their enthusiasm and for giving voluntarily for something they believe in. Instead of having their hand out, they are willing to contribute their time, their effort to something that they believe in is essential, and it has never been more essential than it is today.”