All in the Family
When asked about the bond between family members, many of us would describe our own families as being close-knit, or at least we would until meeting the Myers family. A modern-day Brady Bunch of sorts, the Myers family consists of three brothers, Willie, Wilbur and Jerry; two sisters, Joyce and Gloria; two spouses, Willie’s wife, Kathy, and Jerry’s wife, Alnesia; a niece named Veronica; and a great niece named Mersadies who all have one distinct family tie, they work for the same company, Sanderson Farms.
Not only do nine members of the family currently work for the same company, they all work at the same facility, Collins Processing. As if nine family members working under one roof was not enough to strengthen the Myers family bond, an additional four members of the family also worked for the company at one time throughout their life.
With the exception of the youngest family member, all of the Myers family has worked at Sanderson Farms for at least 16 years, with the most tenured family members working for the company since 1981 when the Collins Processing facility, then called the Collins Chill Pack Division, was purchased from MFC Services. In fact, one of the two sisters, Joyce Myers, began her career with MFC Services in 1976, nearly five years before the plant was purchased by Sanderson Farms.
Growing up, times were tough for the first generation of the Myers family. “My daddy’s family were sharecroppers, and most of us were raised working in the fields with our mother and father,” said Wilbur, Cut Up and Shipping Superintendent at Collins Processing. “Both of my parents were hard workers. My mother was just as hard working as my father was. That same work ethic was instilled in us at a very young age.”
“As a family, our upbringing has enabled us to be able to deal with different circumstances that we encounter in life,” continued Wilbur. “We are able to overcome those circumstances because of how we were raised. That’s what Sanderson Farms looks for in employees, hard workers, treating people right and doing the right thing.”
For the Myers family, hard work and education was a requirement, not an option. “Our parents pushed education because they only had an eighth or ninth grade education themselves,” said Joyce, who serves as a member of the parts cutting crew at Collins Processing. “As kids, we were going to school no matter what. School came first.”
The Myers family tradition of working in the poultry industry began with their mother, Willie Annie, who worked for MFC Services for many years prior to Sanderson Farms purchasing the facility. After Willie Annie retired, her brother-in-law, Leroy Myers, began working with the Collins Chill Pack Division and later retired from Sanderson Farms after serving as the Shipping Supervisor at Collins Processing for many years.
Over the past 31 years that the Myers family has worked for Sanderson Farms, they have truly made the most of their time by working hard, enjoying what they do and saving time for family. “Work is fun when you’re working with family,” said Joyce. “Whether that family is your own family or your Sanderson family, the important thing is to love what you do and enjoy the people that you work with.”