In our continued celebration of Black History Month, we’re spotlighting one of our supply partners that is among the diverse vendors we are proud to work with – Bridgeforth Farms. Ongoing partnerships with diverse and minority-owned suppliers add value and help us to meet high standards for quality products.
Bridgeforth Farms is a Black-owned farm located in North Alabama and supplies Tyson Foods’ Ivalee Feed Mill with grain necessary for operations. A fifth-generation family farm, Bridgeforth Farms was established in 1877 by George Bridgeforth Sr., a former slave who persevered to buy and ultimately farm his own land. By 1910, he had become the largest Black landowner in Limestone County, founded the Southern Small Farmland Company, and established a Beulah Land Farming community in North Alabama.
Today, Billy and Gregory Bridgeforth, brothers and partners, run the farm with the knowledge and experience that comes from managing over 50 seasons of harvests. In 2014, Billy was one of only 15 farmers in the nation named a “Champion of Change” by the USDA. The Bridgeforth family farms six types of row crops on over 10,000 acres across four counties in Alabama and sells to large corporate processors. The brothers view collaboration and supply chain partnerships as key ingredients to their success.
Their family makes a global impact through the Bridgeforth International Corporation (founded in 2012) and focus on inspiring future farmers through their community involvement in several local and national organizations. As an innovator in their community, Bridgeforth Farms is dedicated to regenerative agricultural and farming practices, and became an early adopter of no-till farming and planting cover crops.
Even further, Billy and Gregory Bridgeforth are also co-owners of Arkansas River Rice – a state-of-the-art rice mill – with their partner PJ Haynie. PJ is a fifth-generation row crop farmer at Haynie Farms, with farming operations in Virginia and a satellite farming operation in Arkansas. Arkansas River Rice, located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is the only Black-owned rice mill in the country. Billy, Gregory and PJ are committed to sustainability and Black equity in agriculture and the three men support Black farmers through their association with the National Black Growers Council. PJ serves as Chairman of the Board and Billy as Chairman Emeritus having previously served as Chairman from 2010-2017.
Bridgeforth Farms is just one of the many diverse suppliers that bring lasting value to Tyson Foods.