Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Companies Of A Century: Aviagen’s Chicken For Every Pot

Aviagen’s aim is to consistently deliver genetic improvement to the broiler industry, producing healthy birds through established and sustainable selection and breeding programs.

Editor’s Note: Chief Executive is kicking off a new annual tradition this year by celebrating every sizable (over $100 million in annual revenues) standalone company turning 100 in 2023. Check out the rest of this year’s class for tips, insights and, above all else, the inspiration you need to keep going….and going.

 

POULTRY BREEDING STOCK 

AVIAGEN 

HQ: Huntsville, Alabama
Revenues: ~$1.6 billion
Employees: ~3,900 

From pandemic-era problems in America’s chicken-processing facilities to the spread of avian influenza (AI) across the globe, the poultry business suffered some high-visibility failures in the past few years. Aviagen, the worldwide market leader in poultry breeding, is no exception. The company weathered an avian flu outbreak a few years ago, responding by aggressively addressing and resolving the issue, and then establishing new levels of vigilance that have made the company a leader in combating avian flu. 

In 2017, Aviagen became the first poultry-breeding company in the U.S. to be certified as an AI Clean Compartment, meaning that it implemented the highest levels of biosecurity for its flocks. Compartmentalization allows governments around the world to accept stock from an exporting country with an avian flu outbreak by supplying the importing country’s officials with evidence that the stock is free from disease, according to Aviagen. 

Based in Huntsville, Alabama, the company’s operational footprint extends to the UK, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand, Turkey, India and Australia. Aviagen also offers its products through joint ventures in the key poultry markets of Asia. It owns 260 production facilities and 27 commercial hatcheries worldwide. 

Building Better Birds 

Aviagen’s aim is to consistently deliver genetic improvement to the broiler industry, producing healthy birds through established and sustainable selection and breeding programs through its three brands: Arbor Acres, Indian River and Ross. 

In 2003, a 21 percent stake in Aviagen was acquired by Germany’s Erich Wesjohann Group. That followed acquisition of Aviagen by private-equity group Advent International, which made three significant acquisitions to bolster Aviagen during that time, including turkey-breeding operations. The acquisitions and enhanced products boosted revenues by 25 percent from 2002 to 2004. 

Aviagen continues to invest heavily in operations in its primary U.S. market. In 2020, it opened a state-of-the-art feed-processing facility in Pikeville, Tennessee, to supply its poultry flocks with high-quality, pathogen-free feed, at a cost of $35 million. Aviagen also has invested in the future of its industry by helping develop a new research facility at the University of Arkansas. This “poultry house of tomorrow” will facilitate cutting-edge broiler research with innovative technologies to collect real-time data for body weight, feed, water intake and environmental conditions, then send the “smart farming” information to the cloud for scientists to access easily with an app.


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.