LAUREL, Miss. — Giving back to local communities is a hallmark of the Sanderson Farms ethos. Since its founding in 1947 as a small farm supply store, Sanderson Farms’ leadership and employees have been dedicated to giving back to and contributing to improving the communities where Sanderson Farms operates.
Today, Joe F. Sanderson Jr., as chairman and CEO of the third largest poultry producer in the country, continues his family’s legacy of quality and integrity instilled from years past, including a robust culture of giving.
“Giving back is part of our corporate responsibility to help make the communities where we operate better,” said Sanderson. “Our employees and their families deserve to have the communities where we live and work thrive.”
It is widely known that Sanderson Farms provides relief from natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. Over the last decade, Sanderson Farms has donated more than $14.85 million and 5 million pounds of poultry products to charitable and community organizations supporting those impacted by natural disasters. In addition, the company is the title sponsor of a PGA TOUR golf tournament, the Sanderson Farms Championship, which has had a charitable impact in Mississippi of more than $14.7 million since the company became the title sponsor in 2013.
As the company has continued to grow and expand its operations, Sanderson Farms’ reach for giving back has also expanded. This past year, Sanderson Farms was recognized by Newsweek as one of America’s most responsible companies, and just recently, Forbes named the company one of America’s best large employers for 2022.
“At Sanderson Farms, we believe the company is only as successful as the communities in which it operates,” said Lampkin Butts, President and COO for Sanderson Farms. “While we are honored to receive this recognition, our goal is to also be one of the best business partners in the communities in which we operate.”
In addition to corporate giving, Sanderson Farms encourages its employees to give back in time, talent, and treasure. To help make giving as easy and impactful as possible, the company not only gives its employees the option to donate to their local United Way organization directly from their paychecks, but it matches employee contributions dollar for dollar.
“Our employees have a sense of pride knowing the company they work for gives back to the communities in which they live and work,” said Hilary Burroughs, director of marketing for Sanderson Farms. “Whether it be supporting a local sports league in their community, or helping to clean up after a natural disaster, our employees know Sanderson is going to step up and do the right thing, especially in times of great need.”
“Sanderson Farms is a valued employer and community partner in Lenoir County and our region,” said Molly Taylor, executive director, Lenoir/Greene (N.C.) United Way. “We appreciate their annual support of Lenoir/Greene United Way as we work to support the greatest needs in the communities we serve.”
As a producer of a highly valued source of protein, Sanderson Farms keeps open lines of communication with food banks and other local aid organizations.
“If there is a need in a community where we operate, someone at the local food bank most likely knows of someone at Sanderson Farms to reach out to, but we also proactively reach out to them,” said Burroughs. “We are in constant contact with organizations like the American Red Cross, The United Way, and the many food banks and soup kitchens helping to feed those less fortunate living in our communities.”
Many Sanderson Farms employees are also deeply involved within their communities, from coaching sports teams, volunteering with their local Volunteer Fire Department, serving on various boards and committees, teaching Sunday School, and assisting with local food banks. When attending most any local event, you’re likely to see representation of Sanderson Farms by way of its employees’ active engagement.
“You’ll see Sanderson Farms employees participating in all phases of the community, and they bring a whole lot more to the table than they take,” said Tony Thaxton, Laurel, Miss., City Council. “Sanderson Farms is an excellent company to have in the community. They are interested in not only their employees, but also in making the community in which they work a better community.”