Women in Agriculture: Marley Porter

Beginning her career as a clerk working in both accounting and human resources, Marley Porter’s experience at Sanderson Farms is a testament to how quickly a career in agriculture can advance with the right work ethic and attention to detail, even for someone who never planned to work in poultry. Now the only female catch and haul manager throughout the company’s 11 live haul departments, it is clear that Porter has never let traditional gender roles dictate her success within the company.

“If you are capable of putting in hard work and are determined and willing to learn, you can be successful in any department within the company,” said Porter. “I advise other women considering a career in agriculture to be willing and determined, proving to yourself and others that you can not only do the job, but you can do it well.”

After over 11 years at Sanderson Farms, Porter has had plenty of opportunities to prove her willingness and determination to go above and beyond the call of duty in all aspects of her work. Outside of her role in management within the company’s live production division, she is a 2018 graduate of the company’s “The Path Forward” mentoring program, which provided the opportunity to learn about different departments within the company that she is not exposed to during the course of normal business.

“Sanderson Farms demonstrates their value of female leadership by giving women the opportunity to learn and develop in their careers through formal mentoring programs,” said Porter. “By providing the opportunity for women to demonstrate their ability to grow and advance, promotion opportunities naturally follow for those who are willing to invest the time and effort in leveraging those company provided resources.”

After over two and a half years in her current management role, Porter finds the variety and fast-paced nature of the agriculture industry energizing even after over a decade with the same company. “The challenge that comes with the job on a day-to-day basis, its never the same,” said Porter. “There is always something new or intriguing to look forward to. Also, being able to work with different personalities of employees within the company keeps me constantly on my toes.”

For Porter, her job is not the only thing keeping her on her toes as she has a husband and two boys under the age of eight to help with that as well. The Porters are active members of their local church and are frequently involved with sports like basketball and baseball.

“Being a working mom, life is always a balancing act,” said Porter. “However, when you work for a company like Sanderson Farms that not only cares about you as an employee, but also as a person, it makes things much easier. When things get overwhelming and seem difficult, I remind myself at the end of the day that I am able to provide for my family, which is very rewarding. The ability to do it all is what makes women working in agriculture successful, and I’m so thankful to have found a career that allows me to do exactly that.”