Donald John “Don” Tyson, who turned his family’s Arkansas chicken company into one of the largest industrial meat and poultry producers in the world, has died of cancer at age 80. Tyson became president of the company in 1966 and served as CEO and chairman from 1967 to 1991. He officially retired from the company in 1995.
The son of the company’s founder and the father of its current chairman, grew into a world protein leader under Tyson’s management. The Wall Street Journal notes that he was credited with bringing industrial scale to chicken farming. Annual revenue rose under his watch to more than $10 billion from about $50 million a year.
“Don was known by all to work hard, but also to play hard,” said Tyson CEO Donnie Smith. “He was famous the world over for his ‘No Bad Days’ outlook on life, and well known for telling everyone that ‘I don’t have time to have a bad time.’ Don’s passing will be mourned by all who knew him, especially his family, his countless friends, and business leaders and associates in Arkansas, across the country and around the world.”
Through most of the 1950s Tyson worked with his father to grow the family business, then known as Tyson Feed and Hatchery, supplying feed and baby chicks to local poultry producers in Northwest Arkansas. In 1958 the company became “vertically integrated” by building its first chicken processing plant in Springdale, with Tyson overseeing the construction and then becoming its first plant manager.
The company continued to grow through the 1970s and 1980s with Don Tyson leading a series of acquisitions including Val-Mac, Lane Poultry and the 1989 purchase of Holly Farms, which more than doubled the size of the company and made it the largest poultry producer in the country.
After ending his active day-to-day involvement with the operations of Tyson Foods Inc., Tyson continued to serve as a consultant and on the company’s Board of Directors, and was also the managing general partner of the Tyson Limited Partnership (TLP). With his death, the TLP will maintain effective control of Tyson Foods Inc., with management of the TLP residing with a small group of Tyson family members, former Tyson executives, and trusted confidants of Don Tyson.
“My sisters, my children, Barbara Tyson and I are truly saddened by the loss of our father, as are many, many friends, business associates and Tyson team members,” said John Tyson. “He was a true visionary who led Tyson Foods from a small regional chicken company to a multi-billion dollar food processing enterprise. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.”
The National Chicken Council, which named Tyson a “Pioneer of the Industry” in 2004, issued a statement calling him a “titan of the modern chicken industry.”
“From the beginning of his leadership of his company, he saw the future of the industry and worked to make his vision a reality,” the statement continued. “He was a pioneer in moving beyond commodity chicken to value-added products and in the development of new products and international markets. Don Tyson was a key figure in transforming the industry into the powerhouse it is today. Not only his family and his company have suffered a loss, but the entire industry as well.”
Sources: Wall Street Journal, ArkansasOnline.com, Tyson Foods Inc., National Chicken Council
Multivac demonstrated “saddlepack” packaging as its key highlight at the IPE show. Saddlepack packaging is available in a variety of configurations and provides multiple hermetically sealed package compartments connected by perforated film. Processors benefit from the highly efficient and hygienic loading process made possible with horizontal thermoform packaging technology. They are also able to move much larger volumes of product in a SKU while maintaining and even improving brand identification.
PolyCo gowns are engineered for quick and easy “donning and doffing.” VR Multi-Use Gowns and PolyWear Single-Use Gowns are designed to replace traditional aprons and sleeves. With more extensive coverage of the employee, PolyCo gowns have demonstrated to provide greater protection for both the employee and the food chain. In addition to improving employee productivity by saving on garment changes, elimination and replacement of aprons and sleeves can contribute to the reduction of inventory costs.
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Speed, product consistency and versatility are key to NuTEC’s 710 Forming Machine. The 710 provides excellent weight control and gentle product handling for a variety of products from beef to vegetables. It can form hamburger patties, meatballs, skinless sausage links, and many more items. The 710 Forming Machine operates with minimal wear and maintenance. NuTEC supports the machine with factory direct service and a one-year parts warranty. The 710 is operator-friendly and easy to use.
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Able to grind everything from fresh product to frozen blocks, Weiler’s OMNI V offers rugged reliability and durability. It eliminates all requirements for changeover and quick speed adjustments, so operators can optimize production quality and volume with fresh or frozen applications even in demanding work environments. The OMNI V includes independently controlled feed screws and Weiler’s Balanced Flow Technology, which promises more efficient handling during grinding, while offering consistent particle definition, improved texture and superior product quality.
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Mettler Toledo introduces the FiveGo pH Food Kit, a portable pH measuring instrument designed for use in the food and beverage industry. FiveGo instruments all feature storage capacity for up to 30 measurements, including automatic endpoint recognition and calibration with automatic buffer recognition. Operation is easy and intuitive with dedicated buttons for starting and ending a measurement and for saving and accessing measurements and the latest calibration data.
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AirShirz pneumatic scissors from Bettcher Industries increase worker productivity while reducing muscle fatigue in turkey gizzard harvesting and gizzard opening operations. With its fixed bottom blade design, AirShirz scissors provide a clean, accurate intestine cut, as well as easy piercing to split and open the gizzard. AirShirz scissors require approximately 90% less muscle activity to operate and achieve up to 127% greater worker productivity over manual scissors. AirShirz scissors are available in two grip designs.
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Air Products’ Freshline DM tunnel freezer is a flexible cryogenic freezing solution that allows manufacturers to process both individually quick frozen (IQF) and flat or trayed products in a single machine. This can result in maximum uptime and can lead to optimum efficiency. The dual-mode freezer can offer significant capital savings and improved product quality when processing a variety of poultry items, including diced and sliced products, wings, filets, cutlets, and breaded and trayed products.
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Cargill new Premier Light Salt 50/50 is a blend of food-grade potassium chloride and sodium chloride that provides 50 percent less sodium than regular salt. The blend can be used as a direct replacement for salt in processing applications where sodium reduction is desired. The blend maintains many of the functionalities of regular salt and can be used for processed meat and poultry products; cheese; seasoning blends and more.
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Dur-A-Flex offers Dur-A-Glaze MVP (moisture vapor protection) moisture mitigation primer for its line of resinous flooring products. The new epoxy-based primer effectively reduces moisture vapor emissions in concrete slabs, allowing resinous floor systems to be installed on concrete slabs as soon as five to seven days after being placed. It is also ideal for existing concrete floors where moisture vapor emissions exceed the allowable limits for epoxy floor installations.
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Loading Dock Management
4SIGHT Yard and Dock Management System integrates a facility with intelligent software to monitor, schedule, and communicate trailer movement, load assignment, and loading dock status in a simple, easy-to-use interface. 4SIGHT bridges the gap between warehousing and transportation, thereby alleviating common logistics problems. This system combines RFID, GPS and sensor technologies to provide companies with real-time yard and loading dock visibility, enabling them to improve trailer coordination and turn time management.
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