Nation’s third largest poultry producer is being acquired for $4.53 billion as price of chicken soars.

Cargill and privately held Continental Grain plan to combine Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms, a Continental Grain subsidiary, to form a new, privately held poultry business.

Operations will include poultry processing plants and prepared foods plants across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.

Commissioner Andy Gipson

“The Mississippi Department of Agriculture is appreciative of the dedication by the Sanderson family for the past 75 years to the state of Mississippi,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson told Y’all Politics. “We are optimistic that Cargill and Continental Grain, two of the largest privately held companies in the United States in poultry production, will continue to serve the people of our state well by extending the same commitment to the agricultural community in Mississippi and beyond.”

Commissioner Gipson said he wants to thank Joe Sanderson and the entire Sanderson family for their tireless commitment and dedication to the poultry industry, and the state of Mississippi as a whole, over the years.

“The change in ownership does not change the contribution Mississippi poultry producers bring to the market with an annual impact of $1.89 billion. Nor does it diminish the importance of poultry’s impact on Mississippi jobs and the value of a Mississippi poultry as it feeds us, the nation and the world,” stated Gipson.

The new company, which will be led by Wayne Farms chief executive Clint Rivers will produce about 15 percent of U.S. poultry meat, Watt Poultry USA reports.

David Anderson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist at Bryan-College Station in Texas, said wholesale boneless, skinless chicken breasts were $1.91 per pound compared to 93 cents per pound last year. Between 2015 and 2019, those cuts averaged around $1.18 per pound wholesale.