LAUREL, Miss.– Sanderson Farms Inc., was named as one of America’s Best Employers, according to an annual ranking published by Forbes magazine. The company ranked No. 308 out of the top 500 employers across 25 different industries and markets.

“It is because of the overwhelming support of our employees that we received this honor,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., CEO and chairman of Sanderson Farms. “We owe the success of this company to the leaders, employees, and communities that have worked to build it over the years.”

Sanderson Farms was recognized by Forbes for the first time on this list since they began ranking America’s Best Employers in 2015. The list is assembled by an anonymous online survey of 50,000 Americans working at companies with more than 1,000 employees. The final list ranks the 500 large and 500 midsize employers that received the most recommendations.

 “It takes a team of dedicated people from diverse disciplines to bring our products to customers’ tables, and we would not be where we are today without their unwavering support,” said Lampkin Butts, chief operating officer and president of Sanderson. “Our employees are our greatest assets. This is reflected in our commitment to employee safety, the wages we pay, the wellness and health care programs we offer, and our 401(k) and retirement benefits.”

Sanderson Farms employs more than 15,000 people and operates in five states. According to the company, over 33 percent of its employees have been employed with Sanderson for more than five years. Last year, Sanderson Farms invested more than $4.9 million in employee training and development, and an additional $21.5 million in its Leadership Training Program. 

Last year, the company also put $130 million in its employee stock ownership plan and $172 million in the employee 401k plans.

Additionally, Sanderson also said that more than 87 percent of its current employees are minorities and more than 46 percent are female. Of its minority workforce, more than 56 percent sit on management teams.

“It is important to our employees that they know the company they are working for is also invested in their communities,” Sanderson said.  “A company is only as successful as the community in which it operates. As a business, we have a responsibility to give back to these communities, our employees and their families.”