Forbes Names Sanderson Farms Among America’s Best Large Employers

LAUREL, Miss. (February 10, 2022) – Sanderson Farms, Inc. has been named one of America’s Best Large Employers for 2022 by Forbes magazine. The 2022 list ranks the top 1,000 employers in the U.S. across 25 different industry sectors in two categories, large employers and mid-size employers.

“This honor would not be possible without the overwhelming support of our employees,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms. “For over 75 years, generations of employees and growers have supported this company and built it to the heights of success we enjoy today, and I only wish the generations of my family that preceded me in leadership could witness all that our employees have accomplished over the last seven and a half decades.”

Founded in 1947 by D.R. Sanderson, Sanderson Farms began its rich history as a small feed and seed store in Laurel, Mississippi. Despite over 75 years of growth and innovation, the nation’s third largest poultry producer has never outgrown its roots as a family-oriented business with a long history of treating its employees exactly as what they are considered, like family.

Led by a third-generation member of the Sanderson family for over three decades now, Sanderson Farms has not only built more poultry complexes than any other company in the nation, it has built a legacy of leadership- a legacy that lives on in the lives of employees that make its success possible each day. With over 17,000 employees and operations spanning five states and 17 different communities, the company’s humble beginnings have held no boundaries on its ability to achieve national acclaim. Since Forbes began ranking America’s Best Employers in 2015, this year’s recognition marks the second time Sanderson Farms has made the list after its debut in 2019 as the first poultry company to earn a coveted spot on the national ranking.

“While most would identify our company as operating in the chicken business, we have long believed we are truly in the people business,” said Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer for Sanderson Farms. “It would not be possible for the company to ship our chicken products to customers and consumers across this nation and around the globe without engaged and dedicated employees and growers, which is why we dedicate all available resources to ensuring our people have what they need to fulfill their chosen potential in all aspects of life.”

Recognizing that people are its most important resource, the company provides competitive compensation, an inclusive benefits package and valuable continuing education resources to its employees. Last year, the company awarded hourly employees significant across-the-board pay increases for the third consecutive year as part of an ongoing effort to reward employees for their dedication and resilience during challenging times and to recruit and retain employees in today’s competitive business environment.

For Sanderson Farms, investing in employees doesn’t end with competitive compensation, it only begins there, with the company extending benefits to opportunities for employees to learn and grow in their careers. In 2021, Sanderson Farms invested more than $2.5 million in employee training and development, and nearly $12 million in its leadership training program. Providing two formal mentoring programs, paid personal and professional development opportunities, and continuing education reimbursement, it is not surprising that more than 35 percent of Sanderson Farms’ employees have been employed with the company for five or more years and more than 17 percent have been employed for 10 or more years.

Routinely recognized for valuing female leadership, the company has made great strides by celebrating and promoting a diverse and inclusive culture within its ranks. This focus has generated considerable results for the poultry producer as more than 81 percent of its current employees are racial and ethnic minorities and more than 45 percent are female. Additionally, 48 percent of the company’s management team are racial and ethnic minorities and another 29 percent are female. The company’s commitment to diversity starts with its board of directors, which is comprised of 46 percent females and 39 percent racial and ethnic minorities.

As many companies have discovered, inclusive workplaces thrive in inclusive communities, something Sanderson Farms has recognized since the beginning of its company history. Since 2011, the company has donated more than $15.6 million and 5 million pounds of poultry products to charitable and community organizations. In addition, the company is the title sponsor of a PGA TOUR golf tournament, the Sanderson Farms Championship, which has had a charitable impact of over $14.7 million since 2013.

“It is important to our employees and growers that they know the company they are working with is also invested in their communities,” said Sanderson. “A company is only as successful as the communities in which it operates, and we have a responsibility as a corporate citizen to give back to these communities, our employees, our growers and their families.”

The list ranks the 500 large employers (companies with 5,000 or more employees) and the 500 mid-size employers (companies employing between 1,000 and 5,000 people) that received the most recommendations from surveyed U.S. employees. To assemble the list, Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to conduct an independent and anonymous online survey of 60,000 Americans working at companies with more than 1,000 employees. In addition to nominating other companies in their respective industries, respondents were asked to rate how likely they would be to recommend their own employers to friends and family.

About Sanderson Farms    

Sanderson Farms, Inc., founded in 1947, is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items. Employing more than 17,000 employees in operations spanning five states and 17 different communities, Sanderson Farms is the third largest poultry producer in the United States. As a company, Sanderson Farms is committed to adopting a fresh approach in everything that we do, not only where products are concerned, but companywide as well. Though the company has grown in size, it still adheres to the same hometown values of honesty, integrity and innovation that were established when the Sanderson family founded the company in 1947. For more information about Sanderson Farms, visit