Thanks to our growers, employees, clients and communities, 2017 has been a rewarding and fulfilling year for House of Raeford Farms. With the help of our growers and employees, we were able to raise healthy birds, deliver high-quality products to our clients, and grow our company. We all have a lot to be proud of as we reflect on 2017 and prepare for success in 2018.
This year, however, was not without its challenges. We faced a devastating fire at our Wallace plant and we’re working to rebuild. We were challenged again with a fire at our Mocksville plant, and are currently working to determine the cause of the fire and reopen our doors. And, we dealt with natural disasters affecting our own communities, and helped many others dealing with natural disasters in communities across the U.S.
We saw an outpouring of support from our North Carolina communities after the Wallace plant fire in February, and again, in December, with the Mocksville plant fire. We are grateful for the quick-thinking action from first responders and the community at large as we work to rebuild. We have always known that House of Raeford Farms was a family, but we truly saw this first-hand through each of you as you lent a hand or a prayer to your neighbors in need.
House of Raeford Farms FLOCK—our nonprofit arm—has also been hard at work this year, responding to natural disasters in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, donating 212,000 pounds of chicken and $1.1 million to nonprofits in the communities where we operate, and investing in youth development in our own backyard through the Jeremiah Castille Character Football Camp.
I strongly believe a company that does well should also do good.
As we look to 2018, we are focused on rebuilding a new, updated plant in Wallace, complete with state-of-the-art equipment. We will continue to focus on philanthropy through FLOCK and help our employees and the communities where we live and work. Most importantly, we will continue to service our customers and provide wholesome food for families across the world.
Each day, I am in awe of what we have been able to accomplish as a company, and our success is only possible because of the hard work of our growers and employees in Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. This holiday season, I extend my sincerest thanks to each of you and your families. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Bob Johnson, CEO