Gold Kist Inc.


In 1933 D.W. Brooks, a young agronomy instructor at the University of Georgia had witnessed many farm cooperatives fail, but took up the challenge to start yet another farm cooperative almost with a vengeance. Starting out with a 2,100 dollar loan from an Atlanta bank and thirteen farmers from Carrollton, GA, he organized Cotton Producers Association to market cotton. In 1972, the cooperative changed its name to Gold Kist. After itÂâ€Ã¢„¢s founding, the cooperative purchased a fertilizer plant to enable members to get better fertilizer at lower prices, thus began the diversification of the cooperative.
In November of 1951, Gold Kist acquired its first processing plant in Holly Springs, GA. The plant had a weekly capacity of 60,000 broilers. Gold Kist continued to purchase and build more poultry operations. In 1957, Gold Kist exported its first broilers to the Federation of Grocery Cooperatives in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1998, Gold Kist sold all its agronomy operations to another cooperative to focus on protein production, primarily chicken with some pork grow-out operations. By October 2004 with the approval of its membership, Gold Kist converted from a farm cooperative to a profit making company. With its stock traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the "GKIS" symbol. Gold Kist is one of the largest chicken processors in the United States today. It has nine divisions, which include 11 processing plants, 19 hatcheries, 12 feed mills, 10 distribution centers and 3 by-product plants. These operations process 14 million birds per week and employ more than 16,000 people. Gold Kist products are sold to customers all over the United States and in addition approximately 8 percent of production is exported to countries around the world.

Gold Kist focuses its operations on protein production – chicken and pork. It also operates a subsidiary, Luker Inc., which designs, manufactures and installs systems for wastewater processing and material handling. Click below to learn more about each of these operations. Guided by the highest ethical standards, the mission of Gold Kist is preferred in the marketplace because of superior customer service, professional expertise, product quality, and innovative problem-solving.