Turkey industry leaders honoured

13-02-2009 | |

Turkey industry leaders have been awarded for their long-term, unselfish dedication to creative innovation in turkey production.

During the National Turkey Federation (NTF) Annual Convention, Louis Maxwell, chairman of the board, and Gordon Maxwell, president, Goldsboro Milling Company, were honoured with the NTF Lifetime Achievement Award.

In presenting the award, Nick Weaver and Walter “Gator” Pelletier, executives with Goldsboro Milling Company, spoke about how the Maxwell’s, first cousins, grew the business from a feed mill to a fully integrated turkey business.

Louis talked his family into raising food-producing animals because the feed business was drying up. In 1957, Goldsboro Milling Company expanded its operations to include turkey breeder farms.

Gordon graduated with a poultry science degree from North Carolina State and joined Louis in the family business in 1964.

Louis and Gordon expanded the turkey operations and in 1967 built the first turkey hatchery. Pelletier said, “Today, the company’s hatchery complex is comprised of three state-of-the-art hatcheries with a combined maximum capacity of more than 40 mln poults per year.” In 1988, construction was completed on the largest and most technologically advanced feed mill of its kind.

Meanwhile, in 1986, the company built and became the principal owner of Carolina Turkeys, a producer of an extensive line of turkey products. Weaver said, “The Carolina Turkey plant, even though the world’s largest when constructed, has continued to aggressively expand both its facilities and the scope of its production and marketing.”

“Today, the company’s fully vertically integrated turkey enterprise is a world leader.  It maintains the world’s largest turkey breeder population, has developed the world’s largest turkey hatchery complex, it employs the world’s leading technologies in the manufacturing of its feed and in all aspects of live production, and operates the world’s largest turkey processing plant with products marketed worldwide,” said Weaver.

“At the present time, Goldsboro Milling Company and its diverse subsidiaries annually produce about 40 mln turkey hatching eggs, sell 8 mln hatching eggs and 17 mln poults to other producers, and place about 15 mln turkeys for in-house production,” Weaver concluded.

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist