Springdale, Arkansas – Tyson Foods leadership and the company’s Contract Poultry Farmer Advisory Council recently met to discuss issues most important to the farmers who grow chickens for Tyson. The meeting was held Nov. 8-9 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. That’s important work,” said David Bray, Group President of Poultry, at Tyson Foods.
During two days at the company’s world headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, 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, best practices for raising healthy birds and how Tyson strives to become the world leader in animal welfare through compassionate care, based in sound science.
“We are proud to be contract growers for Tyson because they actively listen to their growers and support them in solving grower concerns,” Deena Morrison, a contract poultry farmer.
Tyson Foods has been successfully 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% 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 poultry farmer Rusty Mulford. “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 in their pursuit of success.