If anyone deserves the key to the poultry capital of the world, it would be the 48-year president of the Georgia Poultry Federation.
Gainesville Mayor Myrtle Figueras handed Abit Massey, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation, the key to the city Tuesday to honor him for his service in the industry.
Later this month, Massey will retire as president of the Georgia Poultry Federation after 48 years in the post. Local officials past and present, as well as several lawmakers, attended Gainesville’s council meeting Tuesday to honor Massey.
"We just appreciate everything you’ve done not only for Gainesville-Hall County, but for the nation and the poultry industry," U.S. Rep. Carl Rogers said.
State Sen. Lee Hawkins spoke about the respect legislators have for Massey at the state Capitol, and his knowledge of politics.
Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver and Gainesville City Council members and department heads also spoke highly of Massey’s accomplishments.
Councilman Robert "Bob" Hamrick specified the uses of the key Massey received in a frame Tuesday evening.
"The mayor has tried that key to I don’t know how many different establishments — food service establishments — in Gainesville, and it only fits those that serves poultry," Hamrick said. "We know that for sure."
Figueras said Tuesday the honor was being bestowed upon a giant and told Massey he deserved the key because of "how much you’ve just given and given and given to this community."
Massey, in turn, said he felt grateful for the honor.
"It’s been a special honor for me to have been in the Georgia Poultry Federation," Massey said. "... We’re proud of the fact that Gainesville is the poultry capital of the world."