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Gold Kist Inc.

Gold Kist Inc.

244 Perimeter Center Parkway, Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30146
U.S.A.
(770) 393-5000
Fax: (770) 393-5262


Web site: http://www.goldkist.com

Cooperative
Incorporated: 1936 as Georgia Cotton Producers Association
Employees: 16,000
Sales: $1.65 billion (1998)
SICs: 0251 Broiler, Fryer & Roaster Chickens; 0254 Poultry Hatcheries; 0213 Hogs; 0762 Farm Management Services; 0921 Fish Hatcheries & Preserves

The second largest poultry processor in the United States, Gold Kist Inc. is an agricultural cooperative whose members control the common stock of the association. Gold Kist was founded as an instrument to aid cotton farmers in Georgia, giving them the means to control processing and marketing through the ownership of their own facilities. As the cooperative expanded outside of Georgia, it turned to other agricultural crops and activities and began offering marketing services for pecans, peanuts, livestock, grain, and catfish. During this diversification, much of which occurred during the 1950s, Gold Kist began providing poultry marketing services, the chief area of focus for the cooperative during the 1990s. By the end of the 1990s, Gold Kist was operating 12 poultry processing plants that processed roughly 14 million chickens per week in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The cooperatives other operations include pork production, aquaculture research, and catfish breeding stock production, as well as joint venture projects involving pecan and peanut processing and marketing. Gold Kist serves approximately 31,000 farmer members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Texas. Membership in Gold Kist is open to any person, firm, cooperative, or corporation involved in the production of farm commodities. The cooperatives products are sold domestically and abroad under private labels, store brands, and the Gold Kist Farms brand name.

Background of Founder

For nearly a half-century, D.W. Brooks represented the primary force in Gold Kists development as an agricultural cooperative organization. A visionary and champion of farmers in the southeastern United States, Brooks served as an official advisor to five U.S. Presidents during his illustrious career, a career that began not long after he entered the University of Georgia in 1918. By the time he enrolled in the University of Georgias School of Agriculture, Brooks had already displayed a powerful mind, skipping several grades of primary and secondary education. At the School of Agriculture in Athens, Georgia, the pattern repeated itself. Brooks was 19 years old when he completed the requirements for a B.S.A., finishing in just three years, and was still a teenager when he accepted an invitation to join the faculty. During his hours spent away from teaching, Brooks pursued a masters degree, concentrating on agricultural economics, which he approached with the passion of a zealot. He empathized with the impoverished state of Georgian cotton farmers and felt a driving need to improve their antiquated production methods and naive marketing systems. Said Brooks, My studies convinced me that farmers were not farming properly, they were not producing properly, and they were not marketing their products properlyand they never would do this as long as they tried to go it alone. For the rest of his life, Brooks would work tirelessly on the behalf of farmers, seeking to bring stability and prosperity to an occupation that had long been deprived of such qualities.

Brooks felt the greatest rewards could be achieved outside the classroom, although much of his work in the field was predicated on his studies and research at the University of Georgia. In 1921, he helped organize the first cooperative in north Georgia, devoting the summer months to the formation of the Georgia Cotton Growers Cooperative Association (GCGCA). Brooks resumed his teaching duties in the fall, but it soon became apparent that the GCGCA needed him to take on a more active role if the fledgling cooperative was to survive. In 1925, Brooks resigned his teaching post at the University of Georgia and was named supervisor of field operations throughout the greater Carrolton, Georgia area, where cotton farming was highly concentrated. Despite the day-to-day presence of Brooks, the GCGCA continued to suffer, its development not helped by the onset of the Great Depression. By 1933, it became clear to the GCGCAs leaders that the cooperative could not survive, leaving them with two options: liquidate the cooperative or establish a completely new organization from a dismantled GCGCA. Clearly, the first experiment had failed, but for Brooks failure only served to instruct. From 1925 to 1933 was an excellent training period for me, Brooks explained. At least I had found out how a co-op ought not to be run, and had built up in my mind fully and completely the way it should be run.

The First Decades

Brooks quickly got a chance to put his theories to the test when he was selected to organize a new cooperative from the rubble of GCGCA. The reorganization that followed was thorough, so much so that Gold Kist did not trace its history back to the GCGCA but to the 1933 formation of the Georgia Cotton Producers Association, an organization that changed its name to the Cotton Producers Association (CPA) in 1943. Brooks assumed full control over CPA, running the co-op by day and speaking before small groups of farmers wherever they could be gathered by night. To interested yet hesitant farmers, Brooks preached the virtues of joining a cooperative and he railed against the old system that left farmers as the powerless victims of a host of agricultural intermediaries, the individuals and companies who transported, distributed, and processed the cottonand pocketed most of the profits. Weve got to get on the profit side of agriculture, he declared. Small farmers like us can no longer make the grade just by producing raw materials. To get on an equal footing with large corporate farms and other big businesses, weve got to pool our resources, buyand later manufactureour own supplies in wholesale quantities. Toward this end, Brooks started buying cotton warehouses and then fertilizer plants for CPA member farmers, acquiring the facilities at sharply reduced, Depression-era prices. In one illustrative deal, Brooks acquired a fertilizer plant that cost $100,000 to build, yet paid only $3,500. Brooks also created a sophisticated system for grading and weighing cotton, one that enabled cotton farmers to obtain optimum prices for their bales of cotton. Gradually, CPA gained momentum, but considering the pernicious economic conditions of the time, there was much to be done before the cooperative began to fully reflect the ideals of its founder. The emphasis during the 1930s was on survival; in the decades ahead, Brooks would have the opportunity to vertically integrate the cooperative further and diversify its activities into a range of agricultural fields.

Although CPA could not begin to focus on much beyond its own survival until after World War II, the cooperative did expand on the services it provided to farmers during the war years. Gradually, farmers in the Southeast were beginning to turn away from cotton and toward other crops and activities, as cotton production moved westward. CPA, too, would begin to concentrate its efforts on other crops, but until the end of World War II the cooperative was engaged principally in providing cotton marketing services to its members. There were exceptions, however. The first farm supply store was opened in 1943, marking the starting point of what would develop into a network of Farmers Mutual Exchanges (FMX), which purchased supplies from CPA on a wholesale basis and distributed them to farmer members on a retail basis. The first store, which began with an inventory of 30 tons of feed and nothing else, led to the establishment of additional stores situated in CPAs expanding operating territory. By 1945, as CPAs membership expanded throughout much of Georgia and into Alabama and South Carolina, there were six FMX stores. Following the war, CPA began to diversify in earnest, beginning with a foray into poultry marketing services during the latter half of the 1940s and the establishment of a grain marketing operation in 1948. Organized to handle all types of grain grown in the Southeast, the grain marketing operations became more comprehensive in 1950, when CPA constructed a 300,000-bushel grain elevator in Waynesboro, Georgia. The diversification into poultry and grain touched off a period of ambitious expansion into a number of agricultural fields that began with a flourish in 1951.

Company Perspectives:

The Gold Kist mission is to contribute to the economic improvement of its farmer-owners by providing quality inputs and services at fair prices and by adding value to their products through efficient marketing to domestic and international customers. Relationships with all stakeholders will be guided by the highest ethical standards. All activities will reflect a commitment to environmental preservation and natural resources conservation.

Post-World War II Diversification

In 1951, grain marketing services became fully operational following the completion of the Waynesboro facility, as did the cooperatives poultry marketing services following the acquisition of CPAs first poultry processing plant, also in 1951. The move into poultry was extremely important, marking the starting point of a business that would serve as the cooperatives foundation at the end of the century. By the late 1990s, poultry would be to Gold Kist what cotton was to the cooperative during the 1930s, but in between cotton and poultry were a number of agricultural commodities that represented the breadth of CPA. These other agricultural fields became part of CPAs operations primarily during the 1950s. Cotton marketing activity reached its peak during the first half of the 1950s, then began to gradually diminish in succeeding years, finally disappearing altogether. In cottons place came pecan marketing services, which CPA introduced in 1951. The following year, the cooperative began offering livestock marketing services. In 1956, by virtue of CPAs acquisition of Georgia Peanut Co., the cooperative established peanut marketing services and gained peanut storage facilities in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas. The addition of these new agricultural fields into CPAs business scope pushed the cooperatives annual sales volume up from $35 million in 1950 to $140 million by the end of the decade. During the same period, the cooperatives profits exploded from $231,000 to a high of $2.4 million, giving Brooks the financial means to embark on the greatest facility expansion in the history of CPA. Aside from the remarkable increase in the cooperatives financial might and the physical growth it engendered, the diversification into other agricultural pursuits also had a symbolic importance, giving CPA its future name. During the 1950s, it was decided that the Gold Kist brand name, which first was used in the cooperatives pecan marketing operations, would be the name under which the poultry division would operate and under which a portion of the poultry would be sold. Although the official name change of the cooperative did not occur until the 1970s, from the 1950s forward the Gold Kist name began to take on growing prominence in the endeavors of CPA.

During the 1960s, expansion continued, but considerable attention was also paid to organizational and administrative change, a necessity after the feverish diversification and expansion of the 1950s. Although the decade represented a period of introspection and analysis, financial and geographic growth continued to push the cooperative forward, thanks in large part to the poultry division. The poultry divisions sales volume increased from $35 million at the beginning of the 1960s to more than $114 million by 1968, which ranked poultry as the single most important facet of CPAs multifarious activities. For comparison, the cooperatives next greatest revenue-generating segment was peanut marketing services, which collected $67 million in 1968. Cotton, meanwhile, had dwindled in importance, generating $17 million in sales. Because of the increasing prominence of the cooperatives poultry division and the name it operated under, the 1960s marked the first time CPA began to identify itself as CPA/Gold Kist. The number of people exposed to the Gold Kist name was increasing substantially as well, broadened by the cooperatives rising export business. Although CPA had sales agents representing the cooperative in foreign markets before the 1960s, it did not place its first direct employee on foreign soil until 1965, when a sales office was established in Brussels to facilitate the export of poultry, cotton, grain, pecans, and peanuts in Europe.

The most memorable event during the 1960s for CPA members and employees was not the growth of poultry activities or increasing export business. Instead, the 1960s were remembered as the last decade CPAs founder influenced direct control over the cooperative. D.W. Brooks relinquished his post as general manager in 1968 and moved into the newly created position of chairman of the board. A second generation of leadership took control after Brookss retirement from day-to-day management, led by C. Wesley Paris. Behind him, Brooks left a towering enterprise, with sales approaching $270 million and 180 plants in operation, sufficient to rank the cooperative 318th among Fortune magazines 500 largest industrial firms. Although no longer directly guided by Brooks, Gold Kist continued to record remarkable growth during the 1970s. Annual sales climbed to $463 million by 1972, three times the total collected a decade earlier, and then doubled again in the next five years. In 1977, when Brooks stepped down from his position as chairman, sales eclipsed $1 billion. The small cooperative Brooks had started with less than $5,000, now held sway as a global agribusiness of mammoth proportions.

From the 1970s to the end of the century, Gold Kist concerned itself primarily with increasing the size of its poultry operations. Although the cooperative continued to develop other areas of its business, poultry was the compass point directing growth. A substantial amount of the progress achieved in poultry arrived via acquisitions, which eventually built Gold Kist into the second largest poultry processor in the United States. During the 1970s, the cooperative purchased several poultry facilities from Pillsbury Corporation in two transactions, one in 1971 and the other in 1972. These separate acquisitions gave Gold Kist two processing facilities, a feed mill, and a hatchery. In 1978, the cooperative purchased a poultry plant in Trussville, Alabama, from Purina Mills. In the 1980s, the growing stature of Gold Kists poultry division prompted management to form a separate poultry company. Golden Poultry Company was formed to receive the assets from the 1981 acquisition of Swift Independent Packing Company, which had decided to exit the poultry business. Swifts poultry plant in Douglas, Georgia, became the first component of the newly created Golden Poultry Company. In 1986, shares of common stock in Golden Poultry Company were sold to the public in an initial public offering (IPO), but Gold Kist continued to hold sway over the company by retaining a controlling percentage of the shares. After the IPO, the Douglas plant was renovated and a new poultry facility was constructed in Sanford, North Carolina. In 1988, Golden Poultry Companys operations were expanded again when a processing plant, feed mill, and hatchery were constructed in Russellville, Alabama. After this two-decade-long expansion campaign, Gold Kist and its majority-owned subsidiary Golden Poultry Company entered the 1990s with the prominence of poultry set to become an even greater feature of the cooperative.

The 1990s and Beyond

By the 1990s, annual sales had passed $2 billion and Gold Kist stood as the only poultry processor that operated as a farmer-owned cooperative. The continual expansion of the cooperatives poultry operations from the first measured steps in the 1940s to the 1990s had created a formidably sized poultry processor that trailed only Tyson Foods in industry rankings. The transformation from a cotton-oriented cooperative to a poultry-oriented cooperative was made complete following a series of transactions late in the decade that left no question about the course of Gold Kists future. In 1997, Gold Kist purchased the shares of Golden Poultry Company it did not already own and merged the company into its operations. In September 1998, nearly all the cooperatives cotton marketing assets were sold, leaving it with only a cotton warehouse in Georgia that was slated to be closed in 1999. Finally, in October 1998 Gold Kist completed a sale to Southern States Cooperative, Inc. that included the cooperatives 100 retail farm supply stores (the FMX units that debuted in 1943), Gold Kists pet food and animal products division, and its fertilizer and chemicals division. In the aftermath of these divestitures, Gold Kist continued to provide peanut and pecan marketing services through joint venture partnerships, and operated pork production and catfish production facilities on its own, but the cooperative was primarily a poultry processor. As the cooperative prepared to enter the 21st century, its 12 poultry processing plants located in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina led the way toward Gold Kists future.

Principal Subsidiaries

AgraTech Seeds Inc.; Agvestments Inc.; AgraTrade Financing, Inc.; Luker Inc.; Gold Kist Foundation, Inc.

Further Reading

Dimsdale, Parks B., Jr., A History of the Cotton Producers Association, Atlanta: The Cotton Producers Association, 1970, 231 p.

Henry, David, Capitalist in the Henhouse, Forbes, January 26,1987, p. 37.

Martin, Harold H., A Good Man... A Great Dream. Atlanta: Gold Kist Inc., 1982, 196 p.

Jeffrey L. Covell

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Gold Kist Inc.

Gold Kist Inc.

244 Perimeter Centerparkway, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30346
U.S.A.
(404) 393-5000
Fax: (404) 393-5061
Internet: http://www.goldkist.com

Cooperative Company
Incorporated: 1933 as Georgia Cotton Producers
Association Employees: 15,700
Sales: $1.7 billion
Stock Exchanges: NASDAQ
SICs: 2015 Poultry Slaughtering& Processing; 5261 Retail Nurseries& Garden Stores

With operations in 17 states, more than 15,500 employees, and nearly 30,000 active members, Gold Kist Inc. is Americas second largest poultry processor and ranks second only to Coca-Cola Co. among the state of Georgias largest businesses. Its broilers are sold throughout the country under the Gold Kist Farms brand. This diversified farm cooperative is the nations third largest feed manufacturer and a high-ranking pork producer. Gold Kists more than 90 retail outlets sell farm supplies throughout the southern United States. In a partnership with Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Alimenta (USA), Inc., the co-op owns a one-third stake in Americas leading peanut procurement, processing, and marketing company in the United States, Golden Peanut Company. Other operations include: a joint venture pecan processor, a hybridizing operation, a metal fabricator, a farm financing firm, an aquaculture division, pet food production, and fertilizer plants.

Depression Era Origins

The first 35 of Gold Kists more than 60 years in business were dominated by David William Brooks, a man who has been lauded as one of agricultures senior corporate giants. The Georgia native was born in 1901, the youngest son of a well-to-do farmer-merchant. D.W. was the only one of his siblings to follow his father into agriculture, earning a degree in agricultural economics and science from the University of Georgia at the age of 19. Brooks later reflected in a company-published biography, Realizing I was a few years ahead of the game, thought maybe I needed a little maturity. Taking a teaching position at the school, he pursued a masters degree in agricultural economics.

But witnessing the extreme poverty of many of Georgias small farmers (annual per capita income averaged less than $75), Brooks was inspired to organize the Georgia Cotton Growers Cooperative Association (GCGCA) in 1921. With roots in the Grange and Populist movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American agricultural cooperatives numbered in the thousands by 1930. These organizations brought efficiency of scale, increased buying clout, and innovative methods to small farmers across the country. But up to this time, they had been concentrated in the northern states and limited to production of perishables like dairy products. Some co-ops sought to raise commodity prices by limiting supply, even resorting to destroying their own crops at times. Brooks hoped to use the cooperative structure to help local farmers increase their productivity and market their produce more profitably by eliminating the middleman at several levels of trade. By doing elementary processing and marketing themselves, for example, co-op members could demand higher prices for their goods and retain more of the proceeds.

Over the protestations of his father and the president of the College of Agriculture, Brooks resigned his teaching position in 1925 to supervise field operations for the struggling group. Despite his efforts, the GCGCA failed in 1933. That same year, Brooks and a core of true believers founded a new cooperative, the Georgia Cotton Producers Association. With a $10,000 loan from the American Cotton Cooperative Association, Brooks bought warehouses and fertilizer plants at pennies on the dollar from sellers motivated by Depression era devaluation. Brooks even executed what would now be called LBOs (leveraged buyouts), borrowing funds to buy whole companies and liquidating assets his co-op did not need to pay off the debt. Applying what he had learned in college, Brooks helped member-farmers increase their yields with improved varieties, high-quality fertilizers and insecticides, and better seed and livestock feed.

By the end of its first year, the Georgia Cotton Producers Association had grown from 13 members to about 7,000 and had achieved a net profit on its operations. That first year, the co-op established a long-held precedent of paying out half its profits in dividends (or credits toward the next growing seasons supplies) and reinvesting the remainder. Having expanded far beyond the borders of its home state to become a regional influence by the end of the 1930s, the cooperative dropped Georgia from its name.

Diversification of Products and Services in the 1940s and 1950s

Notwithstanding the co-ops early success, Brooks soon perceived that the group would not last long if its members concentrated their efforts exclusively on cotton production. By the early 1940s, a number of factors had combined to shift cotton production from the small farms of the Southeast to large-scale operations in the Southwest. As a result, Brooks began to engineer a shift from cotton to poultry. As he had with cotton, the leader emphasized high yields as well as cooperative processing and marketing. Although co-op members continued to produce and process cotton through the mid-1990s, this singularly southern crop declined as a proportion of the groups sales in the intervening years.

During World War II, the Cotton Producers Association harnessed its nitrogen-producing fertilizer plants to produce ammunition for the allied effort. A 1951 diversification into pecan processing brought more than a new product to the Cotton Producers Association, it also instituted a new name for the cooperative. Over the course of the next two decades, the CPA slowly assumed the Gold Kist moniker, making it official in 1971. By 1950, the cooperatives membership had grown to 108,000 and its net worth burgeoned to $2.7 million.

CPA/Gold Kist diversified into property and casualty insurance during this period as well. During the Depression, many despairing farmers had burned their own homes and barns to collect insurance payouts. By the early 1940s, several insurers

began to cancel farmers policies across the board and pull out of the market. In desperation, farmers, many of whose loans were secured in part by their insurance policies, turned to their cooperative for help. The CPA organized Cotton Farmers Mutual Insurance Association in 1941, establishing strict standards so as not to get burned. The co-op added life insurance in 1955. (It appeared to have terminated both of these businesses by the mid-1990s.)

Gold Kist started to expand internationally in the immediate postwar era, establishing sales offices first in Europe, then in Asia and the Middle East in the 1950s. By 1980, the cooperative ranked among Americas fifty largest exporters.

Brookss Retirement Signals End of an Era

By the time D.W. Brooks entered semiretirement in 1968, Gold Kist Inc. was the Souths largest farm cooperative, with more than $270 million in annual revenues and a net worth of $53 million. Brooks relinquished the day-to-day details of the operation in favor of a slightly less taxing chairmanship. He held this transitional post until 1977, at which time he became chairman-emeritus and head of the policy committee. Brooks had garnered many honors over his lifetime of service to farmers, including 1966 Man of the Year in Agriculture from Progressive Farmer and induction into the University of Georgias Agricultural Hall of Fame. He was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end hunger around the world. Brooks was also known as an advisor to presidents, having officially consulted with every president from Harry Truman to Jimmy Carter (with the notable exception of Richard Nixon). Brooks continued to serve the company in an advisory capacity, working three days each week into the mid-1990s.

After its more than three decades under one leader, Gold Kist endured a tragically high rate of turnover in its top executive office during the 1970s. C. Wesley Paris succeeded Brooks as general manager. He had spent his entire career with the cooperative, having started out as an office boy in 1934. Paris held Gold Kists top post until his death in 1972, at which time the corporate governance was changed to a three-man executive committee consisting of the chairman, the chief executive officer, and the president. Paris was succeeded by G.A. Burson, who was at the helm of the company when it crossed the $1 billion sales mark in 1977. Burson served as president until his death in 1978, when he was succeeded by Donald W. Sands.

Company Perspectives:

Since its founding in 1933 as a cotton marketing cooperative, Gold Kist has been dedicated to helping farmers in the South profitably meet the rapidly changing demands of agriculture and helping them feed and clothe people from Alabama to Asia. Through innovative research, rapid adaptation of new technology, extensive employee training, substantial investments in modern facilities and equipment and aggressive marketing, Gold Kist is successfully fulfilling its corporate mission to improve the economic well-being of its members.

Agricultural Crisis Bruises Bottom Line in 1980s

Up until the 1980s, Gold Kists growth had been interrupted by only one annual net loss, when drought and other factors caused a $4 million shortfall in 1971. Although the cooperatives sales neared $2 billion, a number of factorsdouble-digit interest rates, inflation, the energy crisis, a severe drought, and Americas grain embargo on the USSRconverged to bring a $1.6 million loss in fiscal 1979-1980. It was a traumatic beginning to a decade that saw the number of agricultural cooperatives nationwide decline by about 12 percent through a combination of failure and merger.

This difficult eras interest rates, which soared as high as 20 percent, influenced a dramatic change at Gold Kist. In September 1986, the cooperative made a public stock offering of 27 percent of its Golden Poultry subsidiary, which itself constituted one-sixth of the entire Gold Kist organization. The initial public offering went against some of the most strongly held beliefs of conservatives in the cooperative movement. In a 1987 article for Forbes magazine, David Henry noted that some observers accused Gold Kist of behaving more like big business than like the farmers answer to big business. But when faced with the choice between incurring more debt or selling equity to raise capital to pay for expensive poultry processing plants, the company chose the latter. Gold Kist President Donald Sands told Forbess David Henry, Until that time, I think you would have almost had a lynching of anyone who wanted to go public with anything. That fiscal years net profit of $22.3 million, however, seemed to validate the executive decision.

The 1990s and Beyond

Poultry continued to be Gold Kists primary product into the 1990s, constituting about 74 percent of net sales volume in fiscal 1995. Chicken became an increasingly important part of the American diet during this period, with per capita annual consumption surpassing pork in 1985 and beef in 1995. By the latter year, Gold Kist was processing an astonishing 14 million broilers each week. The co-ops poultry exports also expanded rapidly during the early 1990s, from $46.3 million in 1990 to more than $70 million in 1995. In line with founder D.W. Brookss focus on continuous innovation, the company automated its inventorying, delivery, and invoicing through the use of computerized barcode scanners and implemented highly efficient and forward-looking processing techniques. The cooperatives marketing methods also grew significantly more sophisticated. In conjunction with a change in the poultry brand name to Gold Kist Farms, the company launched its most ambitious poultry marketing program in 1996. The campaign included television, radio, print, and point-of-sale advertising to support the brand rollout.

But in acknowledgment of the vagaries of commodities markets, Gold Kist did not put all of its eggs in the poultry basket. Guided by an executive committee consisting of Chairman and CEO Gay lord O. Coan (who succeeded the retiring Harold O. Chitwood in 1996) and President and Chief Operating Officer John Bekkers, the company diversified into pork, pet food, and catfish farming in the early 1990s. Gold Kist executives and members alike hoped that these efforts would help even out the co-ops profitability, which continued to be erratic during this period. After declining to barely $1 billion in 1988, Gold Kists sales grew to $1.7 billion in 1995, and net income fluctuated from a high of $46.4 million in 1989 to a $20.6 million loss in 1992. Net income stood at a rather dismal $11.8 million in 1995.

Principal Subsidiaries

Golden Poultry Company; Carolina Golden Products Company; Golden Peanut Company; Young Pecan Company; AgraTrade Financing, Inc.; Luker Inc.; Ag vestments, Inc.; AgraTech Seeds Inc.

Principal Divisions

Poultry Group; Agriservices Division; Cotton Division; Fertilizer and Chemical Division; Pet Food and Animal Products Division; Aquaculture Research Center.

Further Reading

Alster, Norm, Getting the Middlemans Share: A New Wave of Midwest Farmers Co-Ops Is Challenging the Processors, Forbes, July 4, 1994, pp. 108-109.

Bennett, Stephen, Plumping Up Sales, Progressive Grocer, December 1993, p. 79.

Demetrakakes, Pan, Harvesting Heat, Food Processing, January 1995, pp. 55-57.

Dwyer, Steve, The Co-Operative Evolution, Prepared Foods, July 1996, pp. 27-28.

Gold Kist Taps Coan as Chairman, CEO, Nations Restaurant News, November 27, 1995, p. 36.

Henry, David, Capitalist in the Henhouse, Forbes, January 26,1987, p. 37.

Lightsey, Ed, D.W. Brooks: Georgias Senior Corporate Executive, Georgia Trend, September 1995, pp. 74-76.

Looker, Dan, Farmers Have To Ask Themselves If They Want To Be Just Farmers or If They Want To Be Farmer Businesspeople, Successful Farming, September 1995, p. 15.

Martin, Harold H., A Good Man, A Great Dream: D.W. Brooks of Gold Kist, Atlanta, Ga.: Gold Kist Inc., 1982.

Rice, Judy, Just-In-Time Invoicing, Food Processing, May 1996, p. 133.

Salerno, Lynn M., and Esposito, Allison L, The Big Business of Farm Cooperatives, Harvard Business Review, pp. 122-131.

Soslow, Robin, Patience in the Pacific, Business Atlanta, April 1991, pp. 40-45.

Welytok, Daniel S., Doing Business as a Cooperative in the Face of Increased Challenges from IRS, Journal of Taxation, January 1996, pp. 37-43.

April Dougal Gasbarre

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