Tyson Foods leadership and the company’s Contract Poultry Farmer Advisory Council met Nov. 8-9 to discuss issues most important to the farmers who grow chickens for Tyson.
The meeting was held at the company’s headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, and was the first council meeting after a two-year pause due to enhanced safety protocols during the pandemic.
“The success of Tyson Foods depends on the hard work and dedication of our contract growers. We also appreciate that animal husbandry isn’t simply a job – it’s a way of life. The birds our farmers raise benefit consumers by providing a quality, affordable bird from a brand they trust,” said David Bray, group president of poultry, Tyson Foods.
During two days at the company’s headquarters, farmers from North Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri met with Tyson Foods’ leadership, animal welfare, commodity and regulatory teams. The council provides a platform for farmers and company leaders to share ideas and feedback on the best practices for raising healthy birds.
“We are proud to be contract growers for Tyson because they actively listen to their growers and support them in solving grower concerns,” said Deena Morrison, a contract poultry farmer.
Tyson Foods has been working with poultry farmers like Morrison on a contractual basis since the late 1940s. In 2018, Tyson Foods launched the advisory council to enhance communications and transparency with the thousands of independent farmers who grow the company’s chickens.
The goal was to provide a platform where contract farmers can share their views of the business environment for raising chickens and allow Tyson Foods to gather insights to help improve operations and grower communications.
The company contracts with more than 3,600 independent poultry farmers in 18 states who raise chickens for its poultry operations. The average farmer has contracted with Tyson Foods for 17 years and almost 27 percent of Tyson poultry growers have been raising chickens for the company for two or three generations.
“We enjoyed our visit to Tyson World Headquarters,” said Rusty Mulford, poultry farmer. “It gave us a better understanding of the leadership and management of the company we have worked with for many years. The highlight was the Founders Room tour.”
Tyson Foods has relationships with farmers and ranchers that extend back decades. Initiatives like the advisory council, Contract Poultry Farmers’ Bill of Rights and Five Domains are intended to help support poultry farmers.
“We believe our contract growers are the best in the industry. Their success is our success,” Bray said. “We trust them to raise birds for our business and value their perspectives as we work to feed the world together.”