Scott Sechler says that, at one point in time, the big corporations in the chicken industry would have considered him a player in the hobby business. Things have certainly changed within the last couple of decades. Sechler, owner of Bell & Evans, has led his company to become one of the premier chicken companies in the country, with premium prices, a loyal consumer following, and farmers lining up to grow chickens for the company. The biggest players are trying to convert their operations to the attributes that it has promoted for decades — antibiotic-free, organic, humanely raised and slaughtered.
“We’ve developed this market over many, many years,” he says. “I think we were one of the first or the first to have a natural chicken label, which I got about 33 years ago. Now, everything is labeled ‘natural.’”