Leading figures in the global poultry industry took part in the week-long Cobb-Vantress, Inc. 5th Distributor Conference at Boston, Massachusetts, USA, marking the start of celebrations to commemorate the first 100 years of Cobb in 2016.
More than 140 senior representatives from 51 Cobb grandparent distributors and customers from 34 countries were among almost 200 people attending the event at the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston.
Jerry Moye, president of Cobb-Vantress, stated: "To celebrate our centennial anniversary with the extended Cobb family of distributors was a very special privilege. These friends have been integral to Cobb's success, and I can't think of a better way to enter the next century than to have all of them at our side."
Boston was chosen for two reasons. "First, Robert Cobb senior started in the breeding business nearby in the town of Littleton, Massachusetts," said Moye. "Second, Boston sits at the heart of the birth of the United States and provides a great venue to get a glimpse of our country's history."
Oldest poultry breeding business
The Cobb poultry breeding business – the oldest in the world – was based at Concord and Littleton for almost 70 years until its move to the current headquarters in Arkansas.
The morning business sessions were followed by afternoon programs that included visits to the Freedom Trail, Harvard University and a tour of the Concord and Lexington area where the first skirmish of the American Revolutionary War took place in 1775.
Among the guest speakers were Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, parent company of Cobb-Vantress; Louise Fresco, president of the executive board of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands; Bill Cordingley, managing director of Rabobank Global Sector Head, Animal Protein, New York; Dr Lowell B. Catlett, regents professor from New Mexico State University, and Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco.
"It's an honor to welcome our partners from across the globe to celebrate the Cobb-Vantress 100th anniversary," said Donnie Smith. "This incredible milestone was made possible by the tenacity, hard work and dedication of the Cobb team members over the past century. If history is any indication, the future is bright for Cobb and all the global distributors who've helped make this company the world leader in broiler breeding."
The Cobb global distributor conference is normally held every four years and has grown significantly in size and stature since the first in San Antonio, Texas, in 1998. This was followed by others at San Francisco, Las Vegas and San Diego with the timing of the latest conference held back by one year so it could mark the beginning of the celebrations that will continue through the centennial year in 2016.