A Lifetime of Achievement

Sanderson Receives Poultry Industry Lifetime Achievement Award

Sanderson Farms’ Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., was recently recognized by the National Poultry & Food Distributors Association with the Poultry Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 1991, the NPFDA has recognized leaders in the poultry industry who have played a major role in the growth of the industry with this award.

Sanderson is a graduate of Laurel High School and Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduation from college, he returned to Laurel in 1969 and joined the family business, where he would serve in various capacities throughout his lengthy career. Now the third largest poultry company in the nation, Sanderson Farms has more than 14,000 employees in operations spanning the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.

Under Sanderson’s leadership, the company has built seven new poultry complexes including facilities located in McComb, Mississippi; College Station, Texas; Moultrie, Georgia; Waco, Texas; Kinston, North Carolina; Palestine, Texas; and St. Pauls, North Carolina. Since 1993, Sanderson Farms has built more poultry complexes than any other company in the nation.

“It is not our intent to simply be larger,” said Sanderson. “Our vision is to be special, successful and at the very top of our industry. We are expanding in order to realize that vision. As we continue to move the company forward, we will do so without losing sight of our traditional values.”

Sanderson currently chairs the Mississippi Economic Council’s Blueprint Mississippi Task Force and serves as a director for the Mississippi Poultry Association, Mississippi Manufacturers Association and is the National Chicken Council Leader. He is a past Chairman of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, Mississippi Poultry Association and the National Chicken Council. Sanderson is also a former director of the Business and Industry Political Education Committee, the Mississippi Economic Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. In 2002, Sanderson was inducted into the Mississippi Poultry Hall of Fame, making him the first second-generation recipient of the honor.

“I only wish everyone knew about all the wonderful philanthropic endeavors Joe Sanderson is a part of or even began,” said Kristin McWhorter, NPFDA Executive Director. “He is not only a leader in the poultry industry, but he is a leader in so many other capacities. Joe Sanderson is, indeed, worthy of this special recognition and so much more. I am very proud of our selection committee and the thoughtfulness they put into this award.”

Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Frank Perdue of Perdue Farms; Don Tyson of Tyson Foods; Joe Hatfield and Tom Arrendale of Fieldale Farms; Norman Fries of Claxton Poultry; Doug Cagle of Cagle’s, Inc.; Bo Pilgrim of Pilgrim’s Pride; Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken; Marvin Johnson of House of Raeford; Doug Carnes of Mar Jac Poultry; Terry Tucker of Maple Leaf Farms; George Watts of the National Chicken Council; Eric Joiner of AJC International; Tom Rueger of Eastern Poultry Distributors; Jim Sumner of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council; William Roenigk of the National Chicken Council; David Van Hoose of Case Farms; Kenneth Kelly of Kelly’s Foods; and Earl Ishbia of Sherwood Food Distributors.