LAUREL, MISSISSIPPI, US — Sanderson Farms’ feed mill in Collins, Mississippi, US, was recognized as the 2021 Integrator Feed Facility of the Year by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) in partnership with Feedstuffs and the US Poultry & Egg Association.

The award, which recognizes the highest achievement in feed manufacturing facilities, was presented during the US Poultry & Egg Association’s annual Feed Mill Management Seminar.

“Sanderson Farms’ Collins facility demonstrates excellence in all of the Feed Facility of the Year scoring areas — safety, quality control and food safety, government compliance, housekeeping and facility appearance, productivity and efficiency, sustainability, employee development, and community and customer relations,” said Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs for the American Feed Industry Association. “Their facility is also designed to incorporate future expansion and meet changing demands and needs.”

Whether it is the formula for an innovative poultry feed or the formula for successful operation, Sanderson Farms’ Collins feed mill has identified a unique formula for success at its facility that consists of safety, quality, regulatory compliance and employee development. This is the second time the feed facility has been recognized by the AFIA, having been named the Feed Facility of the Year in 2017.

“Achieving this type of national recognition for feed manufacturing not once, but twice is exceptional and demonstrates the employees’ dedication to quality, efficiency, safety and regulatory compliance at this facility,” said Mike Tamimi, director of production for Sanderson Farms. “I am extremely proud of the efforts of the team at our Collins feed mill and look forward to all that they are able to accomplish in the future.”

The AFIA has been recognizing excellent feed manufacturing facilities through the Feed Facility of the Year program since 1985, with 2021 marking the first year that the association began issuing top industry awards to facilities in four categories: commercial dry, liquid feed, premix and ingredient, and integrator.

According to feedback from program organizers, the award-winning Sanderson Farms feed facility prioritizes employee engagement and morale by including employees in daily conversations about safety while empowering supervisors to assist employees by providing personal attention through the company’s training program.

Each year, the Collins feed mill produces more than 400,000 tons of custom formulated poultry feed for the over 660 million chickens the company raises annually. The facility is part of a network of eight other feed mills spread across the company’s operations in Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina that manufacture a total of more than 5 million tons of poultry feed annually.

Metrics from Sanderson Farms’ feed facilities are reviewed daily, weekly, quarterly and annually in an effort to maximize efficiency while maintaining and increasing performance. Those metrics include inbound ingredient specifications, ingredient moisture, mixer analysis on specified ingredients, weekly tons of feed produced, labor costs, feed conversion rates, utility usage and performance, as well as delivery cost.

“I am proud of the work ethic and dedication to excellence that the employees at this facility exhibit each day they come to work,” said Bill Bray, feed mill manager for Sanderson Farms’ Collins feed facility. “Thank you to the American Feed Industry Association and its industry partners for recognizing the efforts of this deserving team.”

The Collins feed mill alone processes 2,275 acres worth of corn and more than 3.6 million pounds of soybeans weekly. The facility also serves as the grain delivery point for the company’s Laurel, Mississippi, US, feed mill, which accounts for nearly a third of the total grain delivered to the nearby Collins feed facility.

“By operating our own feed mills, Sanderson Farms ensures that everything that goes into our chicken products is approved by specially trained nutritionists like myself and our expert veterinary team,” said Dr. Amy Batal, corporate nutritionist for Sanderson Farms. “Thanks to skilled feed manufacturing teams like our team in Collins, we are able to promote optimal bird health through proper diet and nutrition.”