A meri can
Issu e No. 5 Spr in g 2022
Poul try Farmer
Commerci al Poul try Farmi ng New s & Li f estyl e M agazi ne
In t h is issu e: -
Pou lt r y Far m er Spot ligh t Fr om War -t or n Viet n am t o Geor gia: On e M an's Jou r n ey t o Fr eedom
3D Cam er as: Th e Fu t u r e of Bir d Scales How t h e Lat est Im agin g Tech n ology M ay Ch an ge Far m in g
Fr om Far m er s t o In ven t or s A Fam ily 's Appr oach t o Solvin g a Pr oblem is Now Sold in St or es
Th e Expan sion of Am er ican Pou lt r y Com pan y How a Sm all M ississippi Com pan y Gr ew in t o a Nat ion al Br an d
Cover Photo Courtesy of Followell Fotography
A meri can
Pou l t r y
Fa r m er American Poultry Farmer Magazine c/o American Poultry Co
Tel: 601-300-5320 AmericanPoultryFarmer.com
Got a product or service the poultry industry needs to know more about? Maybe you have some beautiful pictures of your operation or a great story to tell? We are always looking for poultry stories and information to share with farmers across America. Submit your information today!
General Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 2
Why We Pr int the M agazine Our team at American Poultry Company has a unique view on poultry farming becuase an average year puts us in contact with hundreds of farmers all over our great nation. There are very few professions as rewarding as being a farm broker. We not only personally help farmers transition into retirement after a lifetime of hard work, but we also help buyers make a lifestyle change that builds family bonds that can only be made when a family farms together.
Neel Gibson Chief Executive Officer American Poultry Company, Inc. 3
A meri can
Poul try Farmer Presents "I Made It To Freedom" One Man's Journey From War-torn Vietnam to Georgia page 6 3D Cameras And The Future Of Bird Scales How The Latest Imaging Technology May Change Farming page 12 Ask the Experts Should You Complete Upgrades Before Selling? page 16 From Farmers To Inventors A Family's Approach To A Problem Is Now Sold In Stores page 20 The Expansion Of American Poultry Company How A Small Mississippi Company Grew To A National Brand page 28
FARMER Spotli ght: ?I Made It ToFreedom? One man?s journey f rom war-torn Vietnam tolif e asa poultry f armer in Georgia
By Clay Russell People become poultry farmers for many reasons. For some, it?s a sideline to another career. For others, it?s purely an investment. Still others are born into it and continue in their family business. Hieu Tran, of Jasper, Ga., has a story surely unique in American poultry farming. It isn?t what he?s doing lately that?s particularly unusual, especially in North Georgia? he and his wife, My Huynh, operate five broiler houses for Tyson? but rather how he came to be where he is and do what he?s doing. Hieu (pronounced HUE) was born into an affluent South Vietnamese family. His father was a prominent businessman who spent most of his time in the provinces tending to his bus line, gas stations and rental
Photos Courtesy of Followell Fotography
properties. Hieu and his brothers lived in Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City) with an uncle. The fall of South Vietnam in 1975 prompted a dramatic shift in the life of the South Vietnamese, and eventually to an exodus of people fearing life under the North Vietnamese. Initially, Hieu?s family were allowed to stay in their home. The new government wanted to appear to the world as peaceful and benevolent, hoping to restore international trade and relations after the ravages of the long war. But in the summer of 1978 Hieu?s father was sent to prison. Hieu was 14 at the time and he remembers the experience vividly. ?My father was well-to-do,? he recalls, ?and the
communists didn?t like that.? Although the family was allowed to remain in their home, the government took most of the family?s property within it. ?They took inventory of everything you had and put tape on the things you no longer own. They?d say, ?This isn?t yours anymore.?? Soldiers watched the house night and day, and Hieu and his mother and siblings were virtual prisoners. The exception? one that would soon present the opportunity for escape? came in the fall, when the kids returned to school after a summer break. They were permitted to leave their house to go to school but had to check in and out with the guards outside their house. But a month after Hieu?s father was taken away, ?We went to
school one day and never came back.? Refugees used any means available to flee the communist regime. Some headed across land to the west: to Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Others, who came to be known around the world as ?boat people,? took to the sea. The period of 1978 to 1980 was the peak of the wave of refugees leaving their homeland. Hieu?s sister and brother, who were six and eight years older, respectively, planned their escape into the South China Sea. As members of a prosperous family, they had been able to stash away some U.S. currency and gold and keep it hidden from their watchful guards, and it was the gold that bought their way onto a boat. Not only did gold buy one?s admission to the vessel, it paid for the boat itself. People wanting passage paid a man who would then go buy a boat. The catch in Hieu?s case was that the tiny fishing boat he and his siblings had helped pay for, and were squeezed into along with three dozen other souls, hadn?t been purchased but had in fact been stolen. ?There were 40 of us, packed like sardines, with no compass,? Hieu recalls. ?And they kept stealing other boats, moving us from boat to boat and stealing food, water, fuel.? But after 10 days at sea, the food and water, and most of the fuel, were gone. Without maps, a compass or binoculars, the situation was dire. ?We ran out of basically everything,? Hieu said, adding that no one knew exactly where they were except that they were likely in international waters. ?Every ship that passed by, we tried to get help, but nobody pulled over.? The refugees hatched a plan whereby the next time a ship passed, they would set fire to the boat. Hieu described a maritime ?rule of the road? requiring a ship to stop and render aid when it encounters a vessel in distress. But the risk of being ignored again was too great, and despite the desperate state of affairs, ?we didn?t end up doing it.? From here, Hieu Tran?s story reads like a spy novel or a Robert Louis Stevenson adventure.
On Day 10 at sea, somewhere between Vietnam and the Philippines, 14-year-old Hieu and his boatmates spotted two small islands that they later learned were part of an archipelago called the Spratly Islands. The chain is composed of various islands, reefs and shoals, mostly uninhabited. The two islands Hieu?s boatmates saw presented distinct opportunities. One was lushly verdant, with no sign of human life; on the other, there were only ?a tower of some kind and two or three coconut trees,? Hieu recalls. Given their dire straits, with no food or water and very little fuel, the travelers headed to the island with people on it, hoping those people would be friendly. ?But when we got closer, we could see the communist flag, and we knew we?d headed to the wrong island.? From the water they could see Vietnamese soldiers patrolling the island. ?So we said, ?This is not right. We have to get out of here.?And we turned the boat around.? But the Vietnamese soldiers, having spotted the boat, began firing mortars at the little fishing vessel, and in terror beneath the fusillade, the refugees turned around and made for shore. ?As soon as we turned around and headed for the island, they stopped firing,? Hieu recounts. Once ashore, ?They locked up the men but let the children and women roam around.? In time, Hieu and the others came to know the officer in charge of the installation, a captain in the Vietnamese army who didn?t mince words. Hieu recalls the officer ?s assessment of what had transpired: ?Well, you guys were pretty stupid for choosing the wrong island.? After a few days on the island, Hieu and the other refugees learned that a supply ship came at the end of each month, and that the army?s plan was to return them to Vietnam aboard that vessel. During that first week on the island, Hieu struck up cordial relations with the army captain, even to the point where Hieu was bold enough to ask the officer if he could provide flotation devices so that Hieu and a few others might swim to a nearby island that was part of the Philippines.
The request was declined, as Hieu believed the captain intended to keep the refugees until the next supply ship paid its monthly visit. Not content to wait for this fate, however, Hieu returned to the boat on which he had arrived, and from it scavenged a piece of styrofoam large enough for four makeshift life preservers. Hieu?s big brother was being held in a cave with the other adult male refugees, so Hieu, his sister, and two friends? one of them only 10 years old? decided, ?This is the day we?re going to make it or die.? Almost as soon as the foursome entered the sea, they were spotted by people on land. ?The others thought we?d been swept away by waves and started screaming,? Hieu explained. Among those realizing what was happened was the Vietnamese army captain, who, lacking a boat of his own, entered the ocean and began swimming toward Hieu, his sister and their friends. The captain caught up to Hieu?s sister, grabbed her hair, and pulled her back toward land. Hieu believes that ?he thought we?d turn back, but we?d already decided we were going to make it or die.? The officer called out, ?If you don?t turn back I?ll shoot you!? The 10-year-old returned to shore, but Hieu, undeterred, continued to the open sea with his female friend. The Philippine island was close enough to see, and Hieu and his friend paddled and paddled, clutching their pieces of styrofoam and focused only on their destination. Tragically, his companion, who was 21 years old, drowned before reaching land. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese captain had resumed the mortar fire in Hieu?s direction. He believes, however, that the officer, in a gesture of benevolence, was attempting with his shelling not to harm Hieu and his friend, but rather to protect them by scaring away sharks. Once on the safety of Philippine soil, Hieu?s good fortune continued. He was placed the very next day on a supply helicopter and taken to an armed forces base. ?That?s where I got lucky,? Hieu says. At the particular moment he arrived on the
military base, a high-ranking general was also there on a tour. The general, hearing the story of Hieu?s arrival on a small island on a piece of styrofoam, and his subsequent transport to the base, said, ?This little guy is going with me.? And so for the next week, 14-year-old Hieu was at the general?s side as they hopped from base to base aboard a C-130 transport aircraft. The general?s tour ended on Palawan Island, and after a week there, Hieu flew with his benefactor to Manila, the Philippine capital. From the moment Hieu came ashore on that first Philippine island, verbal communication had been impossible. He spoke Vietnamese and some French? Vietnam was a former French colony, and the language was often spoken there? while the army general spoke Tagalog, which is the most common language of the Philippines, and English. ?But who cares?? he thought. ?I made it to freedom!? Hieu found himself in the general?s office in Manila, surrounded by other high-ranking officers. What the general said (Hieu learned later) was, ?I know that one of you wants to adopt a child.? A colonel stepped forward, accepted Hieu as his foster son, and took him home. Communication between Hieu, the colonel and the colonel?s wife, who was a physician, required creativity. Initially, Hieu would point to words in a French-English dictionary, since he spoke some French and the Philippine officer spoke English. They later came up with an English-Vietnamese dictionary, which simplified matters. All the while, Hieu was learning Tagalog. After six months, Hieu?s foster family connected him with a Vietnamese nun? Sister Pascale? who was in charge of all refugees in the area. She prepared paperwork that would lead to Hieu?s adoption by his foster parents. Hieu would likely have lived his life in the Philippines if his travels had ended there. But Sister Pascale had other ideas. After all of her efforts toward Hieu?s adoption, she came to believe that his best opportunity for a good future was in the United States. She asked if he knew anyone in the States, and in another convenient twist of fate, he said he did. 9
Hieu was aware of cousins in Portland, Oregon, but he knew only their names. The energetic Sister Pascale went to work, however, found Hieu?s relatives, and began the process of arranging their sponsorship of Hieu so he could go to the United States. And her efforts paid off. ?I don?t know how she did it but she did it,? Hieu recalls. Hieu?s foster parents were disappointed but accepted his wishes and understood that the opportunities awaiting him in America were too great to ignore. And in November 1979, after his dangerous escape from Vietnam and another escape under shellfire from an island while bobbing in the waves clutching a piece of styrofoam, after 13 months in the Philippines, and after an airplane ride across the Pacific, Hieu Tran embarked on his new American life. It was in the end an aunt and uncle in Spokane, Wash., who sponsored Hieu. Speaking no English he could not attend the usual high school classes. But after an academic year in an English as a Second Language class, his English was good enough, and he began attending the same classes as his peers. He worked as a busboy and had a paper route, thereby cementing his status as an all-American teenager. After graduation he attended Spokane Community College, earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in electronics. He liked Spokane but figured the opportunities in his new profession would be better in Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. His instincts were right, and he found a position as an electronics technician. His new employer built systems for telephone companies that automated and streamlined their billing processes. In a time where long-distance calls were tracked by operators and billed one-by-one, Hieu?s company?s work was somewhere near revolutionary, and Hieu was a busy technician. But soon, his employer, in a growing field and needing staff in other regions, asked Hieu if he was willing to relocate. ?I didn?t know what it meant,? he recalls, ?but I said sure!? Eager for the work and to advance his training, he began a period of regular travel, flying every week 10
to various cities in California and Nevada? ?wherever the customers were.? The experience proved invaluable. Asked yet again if he would relocate, 23-year-old Hieu again said yes, finding out only afterward from his boss, ?We want you to go to New Jersey.? He replied, ?But I don?t have anything! No furniture? nothing!? Nevertheless, his intrepid nature took control and he hit the road in a 1979 Mercury Capri, bound for the East Coast. Fate again played its hand when, after the transcontinental journey and while dining in a Vietnamese restaurant in Philadelphia, a waiter offered to rent Hieu a room. He wouldn?t be home much, though, given his constant travel across his multi-state territory. Hieu Tran?s I.T. career continued to advance over the years despite various corporate takeovers and outsourcing by his employers. He changed companies as circumstances dictated and opportunities allowed. And in 1991, he found the time to get married. His wife, My Huynh, was also Vietnamese but had lived in Florida. Ever since arriving in the United States in 1979, Hieu said he had ?always lived in places with snow up to my knees, places cold as hell.? So when his current employer offered him the opportunity to relocate, he jumped at the chance. ??To heck with the snow,?I thought.? And the Tran family? there were three kids now? headed south. Hieu?s new company was based in Duluth, Ga., and Hieu bought a house in nearby Suwanee. In 2016, as had happened before, his employer outsourced jobs, and this time Hieu decided he?d had enough of that kind of uncertainty. And he remembered that his father was always his own boss, which seemed like a good situation to be in. ?I always wanted to own something,? he explains. And so it was that Hieu Tran sold his home, went all-in, and became a Georgia poultry farmer with the purchase of a three-house farm in Jasper, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. ?I knew I?d always have something to do every day,? he remembers thinking. ?And I won?t have to
worry about moving or changing jobs again.? The three Tran children are ambitious and accomplished in their own rights. Linh, the oldest, is in her third year of dental school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and will graduate next year. Kimberly, a Georgia Bulldog, works for a community blood center. And Casey, the youngest at 24, is studying mechanical engineering at Kennesaw State University. ?Casey?s my technical guy on the farm,? Hieu explains. ?He?s a good troubleshooter.? Casey has put his engineering savvy to good use. ?One task when we started was very tedious: when you set up the houses for each batch of chicks, you have to put out the feed trays manually, and put feed on each one,? Hieu explained. This job, taking place several times per year, took three people a full day to do. ?It was very labor-intensive, and it hurt your back like hell,? Hieu recalls.
He had no rosy misconceptions when he stepped into this new phase of life. ?I knew going in I?d make a lot less money than I used to, but I definitely have less stress than what I was used to before,? he explained. ?There?s still stress, but at least you know you own your own farm. You know if you do it right you have nothing to worry about.? And recalling his years traveling the country in the tech world, he added, ?And there?s no outsourcing. I know nobody?s going to outsource my job.? Hieu has no quarrels with Tyson Foods, either. ?If you do your job they?ll leave you alone,? he says. In the same vein, ?If you take care of the chickens, they?ll leave you alone.? And whatever minor gripes there might be in a chicken farmer ?s workday, at least Hieu Tran?s current complaints don?t involve mortar fire and swimming across an ocean.
Casey put his thinking cap on and devised a feed dispenser that was connected to a tractor and used the tractor ?s hydraulic system to spin an auger and disperse two thousand pounds of feed. The three-man job now requires only one, and it?s easier on the back. The initial idea of raising chickens had been sparked on a visit to Hieu?s sister-in-law in Florida. She knew some poultry farmers, and Hieu made their acquaintance and chatted about the business and the lifestyle. He did his research and came across complaints that some farmers (and disgruntled former farmers) had made about poultry companies and the work itself, but he shrugged them off. ?At this point in life it didn?t matter because I?ve seen it all,? he decided, his only hesitation being ?putting my family through something that might not be successful. That was the scariest part.? He needn?t have worried. ?We bought the first farm we saw and it turned out good,? he said. Things went so well, in fact, that Hieu built two additional houses in 2019, bringing his farm to five houses.
3D Cameras: The Futur e of Bir d Scales W ritten by: Tony Lancaster Weight and rate of gain is the single most important metric in both broiler farming and processing. Knowing the real-time exact broiler weights across your individual barns and flocks during grow-out could revolutionize the farmer side of the equation. Peter Ahrendt, the BroilerZoom founder, has been working on 3-D imaging technology related to agriculture for several years in Denmark. After two years of development and testing with independent farmers and a European integrator, the system has reached 12
?BroilerZoom not only weighs a majorit y of t he flock in real-t ime it also can monit or t he eat ing and drinking habit s of your birds." critical mass and is being investigated by numerous companies. ?The first step in the process was measuring the most crucial metric, weight," says Peter. Once fully developed, his team plans to add new sensors and features that will further help both farmers and integrators alike.
How does it w or k ? -
The BroilerZoom units are installed at special locations within the house. A network connection is established. Growth curves and uniformity data is accessible online in real-time.
Th e t ech n ology -
3D camera technology and clever algorithms. Each BroilerZoom unit has a built-in computer and network. System developed using over 20 million images with manual broiler weighings.
Possible Far m er Ben ef it s: From a bird's eye view, knowing real-time weight gain in individual barns could help the farmer spot bird weight, down to ounces, which in turn would help the farmer isolate potential issues. No technology exists today that can replace a farmer ?s learned experience over a lifetime of farming but it can help.
If you have ever been to a mechanic that diagnosed your car problem in 3 seconds by listening alone, you know what I mean. In the case of the car mechanic, the 3D camera technology is like monitoring the fuel efficiency in your car in real-time. Fuel efficiency is an indicator that something is starting to go wrong or something could be improved for greater efficiency. Simply knowing you have a problem doesn't 13
fix it. It takes the skill and experience of working in an industry to isolate what is causing the problem and remedy the issues. Water availability, feed, sickness, stress, ammonia levels, heat, cold, and a broken auger, to name a few, have adverse effects on weight gain. Even in today's technologically advanced houses, equipped with all the latest sensors, it is difficult, if not impossible, to monitor all potential problems. However, by monitoring a single symptom, rate of gain, it may be possible to spot trends before they affect the farmers bottom line.
Possible Pr ocessor Ben ef it s: From the view of a processor, the benefit from predictive weight could impact the whole value chain from feed mill to the processing facility. To 14
date, automatic bird scales have been expensive and only weigh a very small portion of a flock - less than 1 percent. In fact, the industry as a whole is still mainly using a Birkely fish scale and a rope with a bolt on the end; and that's if they measure weight at all. While this traditional method is the best available, it only measures a small portion of the flock. This leads to gross inefficiency and uniformity issues on the processor side of the equation due to real weight being compiled post flock.
Spring Issue Crossword
Ask the Exper ts Sh oul d you compl ete th e req ui red upgrades bef ore sel l i ng your f arm?
We typically recommend getting a required upgrade list from your integrator before offering your property up for sale. If you get the requirements
One question we often get asked is, ?Should I complete the upgrades required by my integrator prior to listing my farm for sale?? A number of variables enter into this equation but the short answer is; it depends on your situation.
on the front end, it allows you to accurately predict how much you may be able to put in your pocket when the farm sells. Nothing is worse for both buyers and sellers than working on a transaction for weeks only to discover the upgrades are $150,000 more than expected! Generally speaking, a large amount of the price of upgrades is labor costs. If
you are in a position where you are trying
fair market price is offered for sale we
to maximize your return on investment
will have 3 or 4 buyers who want to
and you have the available cash, it may be
look at the farm immediately. But since
your best option to purchase the
we have already sent a professional
materials and equipment required and
photographer to the farm and have a
complete the work yourself prior to selling
due diligence package completed, the
the farm. In most cases the farm?s
buyers are able to ?see? the farm
valuation is based on cash-flow and
cash-flow is predicated on a contract from your integrator. Simply put, most of the time a farm will not sell without the upgrades required for the integrator contract to transfer.
When multiple buyers are wanting to view a farm, many times, they will contract the farm ?sight unseen? in this manner. Negotiations and contracts can happen within a couple of hours
Your easier but typically more expensive
and the buyer typically has viewed
option is to get 2 quotes, which lenders
hundreds of photos in our marketing
typically require anyway, and take the
package, so they know what to expect
when they visit the farm prior to closing
The process of negotiating upgrades can
the transaction. It?s not uncommon for
be a delicate process, when selling a farm.
a buyer to contract a farm they have
When upgrades have already been
never visited, so they don't lose the
completed, negotiations are much easier
deal. With the upgrades completed,
from a seller 's perspective and the farm
there's a good chance a farmer can
can typically be sold at a premium due to
close 90 days after signing a listing
fewer unknowns in the transaction.
Many times, due to time constraints, we have a buyer contract a farm with a clause
in their contract explaining the buyer will
CEO/ Broker American Poultry Company
pay X price for a farm but the upgrades required can not exceed Y price. We have facilitated many transactions in this manner. When a high quality farm with a
Our buyers are financially qualified and searching for t he following farm t ypes: LOUISIANA FARMBUYERS -
North central, 6-8 broiler, $1,750,000 Northwest, 4 broiler, $750,000 West central, 4-8 broiler, $1,250,000 Statewide, 2-4 pullet, $1,300,000 Northwest, 8-16 broiler, $5,250,000
ALABAMA FARMBUYERS -
ARKANSAS FARMBUYERS -
Batesville area, 4-6 broiler, $1,500,000 Southwest, 6 broiler, $1,100,000 Statewide, 8-12 broiler, $3,750,000 Northeast, 4-6 broiler, $1,500,000 Pocahontas, 6-8 broiler, $1,750,000 Northwest, 8-16 broiler, $4,250,000 Statewide, 12-20 broiler, $5,000,000+ Northwest, 6-8 broiler, $2,000,000 Statewide, 4-6 broiler, $1,775,000 Washington County, 4 pullet, $1,300,000
MISSISSIPPI FARMBUYERS -
Pike/ Amite Counties , 4-6 broiler, $1,000,000 Marion County, 2-4 pullet, $1,400,000 Statewide, 6-8 broiler, $1,750,000 Laurel area, 6+ broiler, $1,750,000 East Central; 8-12 broiler, $4,500,000 Southeast, 4+ breeder, $2,000,000 South, 6-12, broiler, $3,000,000 Central, 8-12 broiler, $2,750,000 McComb, 6-8 broiler, $1,750,000 Greene County, 8-10, broiler, $1,775,000 Jones County, 2-4 broiler, $900,000 Statewide, 6-8 broiler, $1,750,000 I-55 Corridor, 4-6 broiler, $900,000
Guntersville area, 4 broiler, $1,300,000 Troy area, 4-6 broiler, $1,500,000 Central, 4-8 broiler, $2,250,000 Statewide, 8+ broiler, $4,500,000 Statewide, 2-4 broiler, $ 900,000 Blount Co., 6+ broiler, $Negotiable Cullman Co., 6+ broiler, $Negotiable
GEORGIA FARMBUYERS -
Statewide, 6+ broiler, $Negotiable Central , 8-12 broiler, $2,000,000 Gilmer County , 8-12 broiler, $2,000,000 Southeast, 2-4 broiler, $750,000 Royston, 2-3 breeder, $1,000,000 Central, 4-6 broiler, $1,750,000 Statewide, 6-8 broiler, $1,750,000 Carroll County, 6+ broiler, $1,300,000 Southwest, 6-8 broiler, $2,000,000 Statewide, 8-12 broiler, $3,000,000 Southeast, 6-12 broiler, $1,775,000 Southeast, 6-12 boiler, $2,300,000 Statewide, 6+ broiler, $1,500,000 Central , 6+ broiler, $1,500,000 Central , 6+ broiler, $1,200,000 Statewide, 4-6 broiler, $1,500,000
SELLWITHUS WHYMOREFARMERS TRUSTUSTHANANY OTHERBROKERAGE
DON'TBOTHERWITHLONG-TERMLISTINGS... Poultry farms are expensive complicated transactions. You should never entrust a multi-million dollar transaction to anyone that isn?t a specialist. Any local real estate agent can quote you a price and say they have a buyer. It takes an expert to make sure you price the farm accurately and actually close the transaction.
- Farm Sales are Private - Fully Funded Buyers - Accurate Farm Values - Poultry Industry Experts
Our team of professionals didn' t become an industry leader by attempting to be an expert in every type of real estate. Our company has a single focus - w e sell commercial poultry farms. We do not require long-term listings, and the entire transaction can be private so as not to alarm farm help or the integrator during negotiations. All of our buyers are required to be prequalified, and our team is extensively experienced in pricing, negotiating, and selling poultry operations. It?s all w e do, and w e are w ithout a doubt, the best in the business.
OURPROCESS 1. Tell us some details on your farming operation. 2. We tell you the maximum amount your farm should be listed. 3. Listing documents are executed. 4. We sell the farm and handle all steps from contract to closing.
American Poultry Company 601-300-5320 215 State St., M cComb, M S 39648 Licensed in: AR, LA, M S, AL, GA & M O w w w .AmericanPoultryCompany.com
From Poul try Farmers to Product I nv entors Written by: Tony Lancaster
In the early 1980s, the Sanders family purchased a farm and started farming with four poultry houses. Of the four houses, three of them were post only and the other was a truss house. During their 36 years of farming the Sanders family witnessed many changes in the poultry farming business. ?My husband Darrell and I have always thought poultry growers should create things to make their life simple and easier,? says Teresa Sanders. "As we have aged and expanded our farm with more modern houses, we noticed many things that had been invented for poultry farmers but 20
not many that had been built by people that worked in this business that had a hands-on approach." They began their mission of thinking of ideas that would provide farmers, just like them, with things that could reduce labor, stress, and increase a farmer 's time. They realized early on in their years of farming with their six children, that simple things like, having the time
to eat supper together, was dear to their hearts. All poultry farmers know, raising good birds takes hard work and dedication and in the beginning they weren't focused on starting a new business, they were just trying to make farming a little easier. Little did they know that their effort would turn into manufacturing two products over the next
Auntie'MBiddy Bumper six years. The first product they designed, manufactured, and sold was C-Sticks. The C-Stick product is a brightly colored plastic part that fits in a stand pipe that helps prevent airlocks in drinker lines and makes it easy to observe water pressure. As the water pressure goes up and down, the C-Stick moves with it. ?When I first prototyped the product, I cut a wine cork 4 ways and I dyed them 4 different colors and tried them on my own houses,? says Teresa. "They didn't work perfectly but I knew I was on the right track. After some modifications and a number of revisions we got it right! Our family was so proud of this product."
C-Sticks And proud they should be. Their whole family was able to participate in everything from prototyping to marketing of the product. "It felt so great to see something that was just an idea turn into a real product that people were willing to purchase and use on their own farms." They now sell their C-Sticks in poultry equipment stores across the country. The development of their second product, Auntie'M Biddy Bumper, went a little differently. "First, we designed and manufactured the migration fencing ourselves and installed them on our poultry houses and our children?s houses. In the beginning we custom 21
made them for customers completely in-house." About this time Teresa's husband, Darrell, lost his sight and became legally blind. "It put a huge strain on the family, but we as a family knew we could figure out how to keep going. We did however, come to realize we could no longer do it ourselves." "We contacted Hog Slat/Georgia Poultry about manufacturing the migration fencing. I was so very proud of my husband?s design and thankful to Hog Slat for manufacturing our migration fencing. I think farmers will be amazed how well it works." In the last couple of years a lot has changed in their lives. Darrell?s eyes progressed quicker than expected and in 2020 Teresa had throat surgery, which "gave me a scare, and I felt that I had farmed long enough. I love farming and I feel very blessed to have 3 of my 6 children choose farming as their career, so I thought it time to change careers." She and Darrell found a small building
and opened a country store. "It was a small building but big enough to bring in conversation and fellowship. I wanted to give the small-town I grew up in, Seagrove, NC, a way to grow." Their little country store, The Shady Spot Tavern and Country Store, is like a little Cracker Barrel with a small tavern for entertaining. "We are enjoying it and having fun. Lots of the time someone in the family drives Darrell down in the evenings to hang out, so he gets to keep a social life." "We always said before we were married that we would quit doing anything if it wasn't fun. So we stood by our word and have been enjoying our new life together."
For more information contact: www.unlimitedpoultrycenter.com 336-953-1569, 336-953-2647, Teresa and Darrell Sanders, Owners 336-963-6884, Olivia Gatlin, Sales/Marketing
Want aFreeBinMonitor Quote? Email: info@ AmericanPoultryFarmer.com OrText BINVISIONto601-258-9857 23
GIVEAWAY Toenter theYETI giveawayvisit our facebookpage.
Ann's Cr awfish Etoufee Servings: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours
2 sticks butter 2 large chopped onions 3/4 cup chopped celery 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper 4 cloves chopped garlic (at least) 2-3 lbs peeled craw fish tails 3 tsp salt 3 tsp pepper 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning 3 tsp lemon pepper 1 tsp onion pow der
1 tsp garlic pow der 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 dashes hot sauce Juice of one lemon 3 Tbsp flour 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup chopped green onions 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley cooked rice
In a large, heavy sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic (the Holy Trinity plus the Pope if you' re from Louisiana) and saute until vegetables are soft - about 10 minutes. Add the craw fish tails and the seasonings (salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, lemon pepper, onion pow der, garlic pow der, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and lemon juice); stir w ell and cook for 10 minutes. Blend in the flour, stirring constantly. After the flour is blended in, slow ly add the chicken stock. Stir w ell, then low er the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Add the green onions and parsley; stir thoroughly, and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve over the rice.
We couldn't have done it wit hout you. A humble t hank you t o client s t hat enabled us t o double our size in 2022.
The Expansion of American Poult ry Company, Inc Unlike m ost ot her m ult i-st at e real est at e com panies, Am erican Poult ry Com pany, doesn't have a suit and t ie office cult ure. One would expect a t radit ional office park locat ion, housing office st aff and a net work of sm aller offices scat t ered across t he rural US landscape. Inst ead, locat ed in a once abandoned 1907 Ford Mot or Com pany Assem bly Plant in a quaint Mississippi t own, you will find a sm all st aff wit h a growing nat ional foot print . We st art ed t he com pany under t he nam e Mississippi Poult ry but as t he first expansion happened t he nam e quickly changed t o Am erican Poult ry Com pany. As we expanded int o neighboring st at es, we realized t hat t he poult ry m arket had been underserved for decades. Most of t he brokers we com e int o cont act wit h claim t o be poult ry expert s but when you look at t heir list ings t hey list every kind of propert y t hat com es t heir way. Don?t get us wrong, t here is not hing wrong wit h t hat way of doing business, but it ?s a st ret ch t o claim t hey specialize. As a com pany, our process is very different . We only have one job and we dedicat e all of our t eam ?s t im e and t alent s t o doing t hat one job ext rem ely well, brokering poult ry farm s. Due t o our poult ry only focus, we t ypically keep a very sm all num ber of list ings, 30 or so in invent ory at any given t im e. The m ajorit y of our sales are cont ract ed wit hin t he first couple of weeks and never m ake it t o our
websit e. We realized early in t he process of selling farm s t hat if our com pany invest ed heavily in procuring poult ry farm buyers, we would always have enough qualified buyers t o sell m ost farm s wit hin a few weeks. Am erican Poult ry Com pany is m ore like a business brokerage t han a t radit ional real est at e agency. Today we are licensed and operat ing in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabam a, Georgia, and Missouri but hope t o com plet e our expansion int o Oklahom a, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa Tennessee, Sout h Carolina, and Nort h Carolina over t he next 10 m ont hs. Our core st aff is less t han t en em ployees but we em ploy cont ract ors from all over t he US t hat help us wit h various part s of t he business. We are different from what you would expect in a real est at e com pany. Am erican Poult ry Com pany is at t acking t he m arket from m ult iple angles including
Renovation of our office, the Harlan Ford Motor Assembly Plant, built in 1907.
print m edia, social m arket ing, search engine m arket ing, like Google, and ot her cut t ing edge t echnologies. As a com pany, we are heavily invest ed in t he m arket ing and inform at ion t echnology sect or. Som e of our m arket ing effort s involve t riggering m arket ing cont ent t o individual m arket segm ent s we know are likely t o becom e farm buyers in t he near fut ure. One exam ple of t his would be t he oilfield dem ographic. This m arket segm ent is a large purchaser of poult ry farm s because t hey earn enough t o afford a farm and event ually t hey get t ired of being away from t heir fam ilies. In t his part icular inst ance we have ads t hat t rigger on t heir social m edia plat form s, such as Facebook, as t hey sit in t he heliport overseas wait ing t o be deployed t o t heir oil rig. The ads are only t riggered t o t hese pot ent ial cust om ers using a t echnology called geo-fencing. Basically we know how, when, where, and on what m edium we should advert ise t o a specific group of buyers. This level of cam paigning t o pot ent ial cust om ers was sim ply nonexist ent 2 years ago.
t hat is sat urat ed wit h hardworking good people t hat you want t o be around. Like all professions, you need t o be an expert on t he m at t er if you want t o do your best work. However, if you t ruly want t o know how you're doing in t he indust ry, you should ask your past client s, aft er t he sale is over. Our com pany cult ure from t he day we opened t he door was t o put t he cust om er first and provide a service built on int egrit y. It ?s not a hard decision t o expand your foot print furt her when you have t he level of support we have got t en from our past client s. From t he bot t om of m y heart , I hum bly t hank t hose who we had t he opport unit y t o serve and look forward t o our 2022 expansion.
Greg Gibson Chief Market ing Officer Am erican Poult ry Com pany
It ?s a great business in which t o work and t o be honest , we never t hought it would grow t his fast . We've got t en calls calls from invest ors and ot her brokers want ing t o know if we would consider selling t he com pany. It ?s a fair quest ion, but as t hey say ?st art a business wit h t he end in m ind.? We st art ed t his business because we want ed out of corporat e cult ure and we saw a need in t he poult ry m arket where we could bring value. Aft er working in t his m arket for years, we have zero int erest in exit ing t he poult ry m arket . This business is one of t he very few professions rem aining Me working on the magizine you are currently reading 30
Don't hire just another broker. Hire an Expert! SI N GULA R FOCUSED BROKERA GE W e ON LY Sell Poultry Farms Call us f or a f ree and p rivat e f arm evaluat ion (60 1)- 30 0 - 5320 Am ericanPoult ryCom p any.com 32
Licensed in LA , A R, M S, A L, GA , & M O