Rose Acre Farms Leaders Appointed to Industry Boards, Receive Awards

by Clay Brown | Feb 11, 2020
SEYMOUR, Ind. — Multiple leaders from Seymour, Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms were recently appointed to positions with industry organizations U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the American Egg Board and the International Egg Commission.

Rose Acre Farms Vice President of Sales Greg Hinton was elected chairman of the board of directors of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association at the organization's board meeting on Monday, January 27. Hinton most recently served as the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s vice chairman. Hinton was presented with the time-honored “working man’s gavel” by John Prestage, 2019 chairman. 

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is the world's largest and most active poultry organization, representing the entire industry as an "All Feather" association. The Association is a non-profit organization which progressively serves its poultry and egg members through research, education, communications and technical services. 

Hinton, a Rose Acre Farms employee for over 40 years, has served numerous industry organizations such as the Indiana State Egg Board, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, International Egg Commission, United Egg Producers, Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau. Hinton was also recently voted Vice Chairman of the International Egg Commission, which represents egg producers from over 70 countries across the globe.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in January Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s appointment of the 2020 American Egg Board members including Tony Wesner, Chief Operating Officer of Rose Acre Farms. The AEB is the U.S. egg industry’s national commodity marketing board — an organization fully funded by America’s egg farmers, with oversight by the USDA. Wesner will represent the South Atlantic state region as one of 18 new appointees named to two-year terms. 

Both Hinton and Wesner are Jackson County natives and got their start with Rose Acre Farms at a young age.

Hinton started with the company during his last semester at Seymour High School in February 1980. After graduation, Hinton stayed with the company full time while taking night classes at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. After many years of service, Hinton eventually worked his way into his current position as Vice President of Sales for Rose Acre Farms.

Wesner joined Rose Acre Farms in June 1981 after graduating from trade school. He began with the company by greasing the company’s semi trucks and, much like Hinton, rose through the ranks at Rose Acre Farms. Today, Wesner is the Chief Operations Officer for the nation’s second largest egg producer.

“We pride ourselves on waking up everyday and doing whatever we can to feed the world,” said Wesner. “We live in a world where two billion people are hungry everyday and the population continues to rise. We feel obligated to do our very best in helping feed the world a healthy and nutritious food.”

When Wesner and Hinton joined Rose Acre Farms, the company had only three million laying hens in the Southern Indiana region. Today, Rose Acre Farms owns 17 egg laying operations in seven states with over 26 million laying hens and more than 2,500 employees, and is involved in six joint venture operations in six states with an additional 10 million laying hens.

“I think it's a great example how people from the greater Jackson County area can work for a local company and make a large impact in not only the United States, but throughout the world,” said Hinton. 

Though both Hinton and Wesner have put in decades of service, the younger generation at Rose Acre Farms has also had an opportunity to have an impact at a national scale.

Spencer Parrish and Zach Hurd of Rose Acre Farms were recently named to the IPPE's 30 Under 30 Young Leaders Program. The program recognizes professional leadership qualities and provides complimentary registration and hotel accommodations to the International Poultry & Processing Expo, the world’s largest trade show involving the production and processing of meat and poultry products. Members of the program are recognized at a plaque presentation and breakfast the week of the expo.

The expo, held in Atlanta each January, features educational training, exposure to new technology and numerous networking opportunities among professionals in the poultry industry. It is estimated that over 30,000 people attend the expo every year.

In addition, Meaghan Bari of Rose Acre Farms’ Pulaski County Egg Farm in Francesville, Indiana was recently named to US Poultry’s 20 Under 30 Program, a program similar to that of IPPE’s.

US Poultry’s 20 Under 30 Program recognizes professional leadership qualities of young professionals working in the poultry industry. Those receiving the recognition are provided complimentary registration and hotel accommodations to a 2020 US POULTRY seminar event. 

Bryce McCory, an alumnus of IPPE’s 30 Under 30 Young Leader Program, was recently named to the International Egg Commission’s Young Egg Leaders Program. 

The IEC’ Young Egg Leaders program develops young leaders in the egg industry by providing a range of unique opportunities and mentoring from senior egg industry figures and partner organizations on an international level. The goal of the program is to provide a platform for young leaders to network with other industry professionals, foster the sharing of knowledge and to ultimately drive egg consumption on a global scale.

McCory, a Jackson County native and third generation member of the Rust family, is joined in Young Egg Leaders by professionals from Canada, India, Ukraine, Germany, Colombia, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. 

“This will provide me with a great opportunity to learn and connect with others,” said McCory. “It will be interesting to see how egg producers in other countries operate and I’m excited to get to visit them.”

McCory will be involved in the program for two years and will have the opportunity to visit a number of different countries. 

“Working in the egg industry, and Rose Acre Farms specifically, offers unlimited opportunities to young people looking to get in the industry,” said McCory. “There are so many opportunities to grow and make an impact if you are willing to work hard at what you do.”

McCory’s main driving force behind his work is similar to that of Rose Acre Farms’ COO, Tony Wesner.

“I love knowing that the work I do helps feed people everyday,” said McCory. “There are a lot of families that depend on us. If we don’t do our jobs well, then many people are left without food to eat.” 

Rose Acre Farms also implemented the Emerging Leaders Program, a five year management training program that allows participants to work in every department of the company. The goal is for members to gain both technical and management skills while learning about the many different aspects of Rose Acre Farms. After the program, members will have a well rounded knowledge of the company and be ready for key leadership within the organization. Brandon Briner, Stephanie Solberg, Spencer Parish, Zach Hurd, Garrett Ward, and Bryce McCory are the current members of the program.

Wesner recognizes the responsibility of developing the next round of leaders for the company’s future.

“This group is the future of Rose Acre Farms,” said Wesner. “Greg [Hinton] and I were the last 40 years of this company, and we need to have someone ready for the next 40 years. It's our responsibility to leave Rose Acre better than we found it. We need someone else to step up and help feed the world and this is a step in the right direction.”

Wesner states the position available with Rose Acre Farms aren’t limited to tending to hens and picking up eggs.

“It doesn’t matter what your interests are, there are all types of positions available with Rose Acre,”said Wesner. “We have hands-ons jobs, jobs in animal husbandry, skilled labor, finance and a multitude of others. The great thing about the egg industry is that it takes people from a wide array of backgrounds to help feed the world."

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

Saint Nick's Eggnog

  • 6 large EGGS
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 cinnamon sticks for garnish
  1. BEAT eggs, sugar and salt in large heavy saucepan until blended. STIR IN 2 cups milk.
  2. COOK over low heat, stirring constantly but gently, until mixture is just thick enough to just coat a metal spoon with a thin film and temperature reaches 160°F, about 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil. REMOVE from heat immediately.
  3. STIR IN remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. REFRIGERATE, covered, until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. 
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24