Joining the company in 2007 as a corporate veterinarian, Dr. Mark Burleson currently serves asdirector of veterinarian services for Wayne-Sanderson Farms. He works directly with flock supervisors and area managers to establish vaccination programs, train key personnel and adopt a proactive approach to bird health. Burleson is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where he earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degree in Poultry Production Medicine.

Selecting the path of a poultry veterinarian, Burleson realized the broad scope of impact he could have on the industry, and the impact that the industry has on our world. “Food animal production is vital to society, and I wanted to play a role in keeping those animals healthy,” said Burleson. “They need veterinarians just like our pets do.”

At Wayne-Sanderson Farms, our Amazing Starts with Me employee engagement program places emphasis on four pillars, or areas of importance, which are animals, people, planet and food. These pillars are interwoven into the fabric of our company culture and allow employees to recognize the importance that one pillar has upon the success of another.

Regarding the animal pillar, Burleson takes personal pride in protecting and respecting our flocks as the leader of the company’s veterinary team. “It’s a monument of sorts for me, a reminder that our chickens are the foundation of our company and it’s our responsibility to ensure they are protected and appreciated,” said Burleson. “Staying ahead of animal diseases can be extremely challenging, and that challenge is one of the reasons why I love my job.”

The animal pillar serves to educate employees about biosecurity measures and how to care for our birds throughout their entire growth cycle. Specifically, Burleson encourages employees to have a firm foundation of understanding about best practices in the industry before starting their work. “Awareness is the key point,” said Burleson. “Employees need to understand biosecurity before coming into contact with Wayne-Sanderson Farms chickens. If everyone follows the basics of biosecurity, our chickens experience less disease.”