Sanderson Farms, a leading poultry corporation in the United States, has seen significant achievements and milestones throughout its history. The company was founded in 1947 by D.R. Sanderson, Sr. as a farm supply business in Laurel, Mississippi. This humble beginning set the stage for a remarkable journey of growth and expansion.

Key Milestones in Sanderson Farms’ History:

  1. 1955: The company incorporated as Sanderson Brothers Farms, marking its formal entry into the poultry business.
  2. 1961: Sanderson Farms merged with Miss Goldy’s Chicken company, expanding its operations.
  3. 1964-1966: The City of Laurel issued a bond to support the company’s growth, leading to the opening of a major facility in Laurel in 1966, which became a significant employer in the region.
  4. 1974-1978: The company purchased an existing processing plant in Hammond, Louisiana, in 1974, and built a new feed mill and hatchery in Hazlehurst in 1978.
  5. 1981: Acquisition of Collins Chill Pack Division, expanding its product range.
  6. 1986: Sanderson Farms bought National Prepared Foods, entering the beef, pork, and seafood segments. The company’s sales exceeded $150 million this year.
  7. 1987: The company went public, raising over $16 million in a stock offering.
  8. 1989-1990: Joe Frank Sanderson, Jr. became the president, and the company introduced a line of frozen entrees.
  9. 1991: Achieved a debt-free status despite significant investments in building poultry complexes.
  10. 1993-1994: Sanderson Farms became the national leader in building poultry complexes and processed over 160 million chickens, amounting to approximately 522 million pounds of meat in 1994.
  11. 2004-2005: Leadership changes and expansion into Georgia marked a period of steady growth.
  12. 2011: Expanded into North Carolina, marking its presence in a fifth state.
  13. 2015: Added a fully operational complex in Palestine, Texas, and announced the construction of another $140 million complex in St Pauls, North Carolina.
  14. 2020: The company achieved over $3.5 billion in sales, processing more than 4.8 billion pounds of meat.
  15. 2021: Employed more than 17,000 people and announced its sale to global food corporation Cargill and Continental Grain Co. for $4.5 billion.
  16. 2022: Finalization of the sale led to the creation of Wayne-Sanderson Farms, combining Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms​​​​​​.

Sanderson Farms’ journey from a small farm supply business to one of the nation’s top poultry producers showcases its strategic expansion, diversification, and significant financial achievements. The company’s commitment to growth and innovation has solidified its position as a key player in the poultry industry.

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Wayne Sanderson Farms
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