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Chicken or the egg?

Chicken Or The Egg?

Decatur's Peterson Industries Becomes World Poultry Breeding Leader

Decatur in Benton County, with a population of less than 1,000 people, has a $1-million fitness complex with a wave machine thanks to Peterson Industries Inc.

The town offers numerous other amenities, also thanks to Peterson..

"We're a people-oriented business," says Vic Evans, Peterson's president.

Officials at Peterson, a breeder-broiler poultry operation that's No. 15 on the Arkansas Business Top 50, want to ensure their employees are healthy. That's one reason why they built a fitness center this year and installed a machine that creates resistant waves in a 4-foot pool. It's the latest rage for keeping fit.

The number of Peterson employees at Decatur, about 15 miles west of Bentonville, is 1,450 -- more than the town's population.

Peterson has several subsidiaries, including Peterson International, the vehicle for marketing breeding stock worldwide.

Meanwhile, Peterson's research and development division handles breeding, hatching, manufacturing of feed products and marketing of two products -- ready-to-cook broilers and broiler breeding stock.

Peterson's breeders are genetically improved and tested to ensure the best broiler breeding stock possible.

Peterson Farms produces one of the industry's most profitable "meat birds" for balanced breeding and bottom-line profits. Using the "Crystal Lake" label, the company distributes more than 90 million pounds of chickens per year.

L&L Farms, another Peterson subsidiary, is devoted to cattle feeding and research. The west Texas operation handles 100,000 head of cattle annually.

"You don't hear much about us," Evans says. "That's because we're a private company. But we've doubled in size during the past five years, and we're likely to do the same in the next five years."

Peterson officials claim the company has captured 70 percent of the U.S. male breeder market and half the world breeder market for poultry.

The company was founded in 1939 by Lloyd Peterson.

PHOTO : TRIMMING THE FAT: Peterson Industries Inc. of Decatur likes to keep its 1,450 employees fit. It has built a $1-million fitness complex. The breeder-broiler poultry operation is 15th on the Arkansas Business Top 50.

Ruth Mitchell Arkansas Business Staff
COPYRIGHT 1991 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Peterson Industries leader in world poultry breeding industry
Author:Mitchell, Ruth
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:company profile
Date:Jul 15, 1991
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