LAUREL, MISS.– Sanderson Farms Inc. was named as one of America’s Best Large Employers, according to an annual ranking published by Forbes magazine. The company ranked No. 456 in a list that featured 1,000 employers across 25 different industries and markets.

“This honor would not be possible without the overwhelming support of our employees,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms. “For over 75 years, generations of employees and growers have supported this company and built it to the heights of success we enjoy today, and I only wish the generations of my family that preceded me in leadership could witness all that our employees have accomplished over the last seven and a half decades.”

The list by Forbes is assembled by an anonymous online survey of 60,000 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.

“While most would identify our company as operating in the chicken business, we have long believed we are truly in the people business,” said Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer for Sanderson Farms. “It would not be possible for the company to ship our chicken products to customers and consumers across this nation and around the globe without engaged and dedicated employees and growers, which is why we dedicate all available resources to ensuring our people have what they need to fulfill their chosen potential in all aspects of life.”

Sanderson Farms employs more than 17,000 people and operates in five states. According to the company, over 35% of its employees have been employed with Sanderson for more than five years. 

During 2021, Sanderson Farms invested more than $2.5 million in employee training and development, and nearly $12 million in its leadership training program.

Additionally, the poultry producer said that more than 81% of its current employees are racial or ethnic minorities and more than 45% are female. Of its minority workforce, more than 48% sit on management teams and of those, 29% are female.

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