7 on the Road: Sanderson Farms

7 on the Road: Sanderson Farms

COLLINS, MS (WDAM) - You’ve probably bought their chicken without even knowing it. Sanderson Farms sells chicken products all over the world, but its home is right here in the Pine Belt.

The Sanderson Farms Championship is a PGA Tour event played annually in Mississippi that helps out a great cause. Originally Founded in the Pine Belt in 1947, Sanderson Farms continues to thrive within the community after seven decades in business

“Since we’ve began there we’ve given$5 million from our championship to the Children’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi,” said Mike Cockrell, treasurer and chief financial officer for Sanderson Farms. “The Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Mississippi that takes care of children.”

The third largest poultry producer in the United States takes giving back seriously. According to Cockrell, the family company believes that success isn’t measured by the growth of the company but the communities and employees that are involved in the process.

“It was important to us to make sure the beneficiary of that golf tournament was an organization that helped the entire state,” said Cockrell. “In 1992 we had plants in Mississippi and one in Louisiana. Now we have four in Texas, one in Georgia, two in North Carolina and we are shipping our products all over the world.”

The company’s roots run deep through the Pine Belt. It’s headquarters are located in Laurel, but there’s also a plant operating in Collins

“We have 267 growers, family-run farms in the Pine Belt that are growing chickens for Sanderson Farms, and its hard work,” Cockrell said. “I mentioned we sell our product all over the world, but this is home. Just in the Pine Belt alone last year, our salary and payroll were well over $124 million, that’s a large investment that we make in this community.”

Sanderson Farms hopes every shopper feels trust when they see the company’s chicken.

“That they feel like that Sanderson Farms is a brand they can trust because they know us, and frankly giving back to the community is part of that,” Cockrell said. “It’s not about the dollars, it’s about making sure we are doing our fair share.”

Sanderson Farms is the only Fortune 500 company in Mississippi. Its mission is not only to give back to the community, but to change one life with one chicken at a time.

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