About Tyson Foods
; Tyson Foods, Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the
world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork.
; The company has approximately 117,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities
and offices in the United States and around the world.
; Tyson is the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of
the S&P 500.
; According to Forbes, Tyson is listed as one of the 100 biggest companies in the United States.
Tyson is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange and generated $26.7
billion revenue in 2009
; Tyson Foods exports to more than 80 countries, including China, Taiwan, Canada, Central
America, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Russia and South Korea.
More than 60 years have passed since John Tyson drove his battered truck to Chicago to deliver a load of 500 Arkansas chickens. He sold the birds for a profit of $235, $220 of which he wired home to pay on his debts and buy another load of birds. Out of that trip sprung the foundations of a company that would revolutionize the poultry industry.
John Tyson knew he could make money by selling chickens outside Arkansas' borders, so he began hauling birds to markets as far away as Kansas City and Chicago. Before long, Tyson was moving toward
vertical integration, where he could control the product from the egg to the consumer's table. By the end of the decade, he had become a commercial feed dealer for Ralston
The '40s was a decade of growth for John Tyson's fledgling business. In 1943, he purchased the first
company-owned broiler farm, located in Springdale, Arkansas. Two years later, he made another leap with
the purchase of New Hampshire Red Christy chickens; Tyson went against the industry trend and began
cross-breeding birds. As it turned out, Tyson's birds performed better than the pedigrees and in 1947
Tyson Feed and Hatchery was incorporated. Tyson's company now provided three essential services: the
sale of baby chicks, the sale of feed, and the transportation of chickens to market.
By the time 1950 rolled around, John Tyson's company was processing about 96,000
broilers a week. In 1952, a young Don Tyson left the University of Arkansas and joined
his father's company as a general manager. By that time, the hatchery was producing
12,000 chicks per week, annual sales were approximately $1 million. Toward the end
of the '50s, the company had its first processing plant.
1961 was a lean year for Tyson's Feed and Hatchery. Production costs exceeded broiler prices for 34 consecutive weeks.. They responded to the climate by going into the commercial egg business and building new offices in downtown
Springdale. In 1963, the company went public and sold 100,000 shares of stock for
$10.50 a share. The company changed its name to Tyson's Foods. Broiler production
in the U.S. was growing at a staggering rate, having increased by 366 percent in
Arkansas alone during the previous decade. In the mid '60s, Don Tyson formulated
the first corporate strategy. The company, he said, was not committed strictly to the
broiler market. More to the point, it was dedicated to ensuring that dollars invested
matched dollars returned on investment.
Tyson's Foods entered the decade with an annual broiler production of 72 million and the company's initial appearance on the Fortune 1000. In 1971, the company name was changed to Tyson Foods, Inc. Soon,
a computerized feed mill in Springdale, Arkansas; a new processing plant at Nashville,
Arkansas; and two more acquisitions nearly doubled the size of the company.. At the
close of the '70s, Tyson was producing 4.5 million birds per week, or 234 million per
year. The company was also the nation's largest hog producer.
The company's Chick 'n Quick line was becoming more prominent in grocery stores and, by 1982, it was
the only brand of chicken patty sold in all 50 states. Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) products were
becoming popular with military installations and institutional food companies across the country. One year
later, the company topped one-billion dollars in sales. By now, Tyson's strategy of growth through
acquisition was firmly entrenched. In 1986, Tyson claimed the number-one poultry-producing employing
approximately 48,000 and sales to more than $2.5 billion.
Era: 1990s - Present
The nineties saw Tyson expanding production and refining the company organization. Tyson reorganized to concentrate more on the customer. Business groups were created to realign as specific marketing groups, such as retail, foodservice and international. Each business group contained everything needed to bring a bird from egg to market, solidifying Tyson’s lead in outstanding customer service and guaranteeing the ability to anticipate market demand.