Hundreds of people gathered on May 19 to share food, family and fun near Simmons Food’s headquarters in Siloam Springs. Each year, Simmons Prepared Foods hosts a Grower Appreciation Day to thank over 300 independent family farmers who raise chickens for the company.

James Smith, Senior Vice President of the company’s animal agriculture and first processing operations shared, “Everything we do starts on family farms. We’re really proud of the folks who choose to partner with Simmons to make quality food for our customers. This event is our way of saying ‘thank you.’”

Simmons and its supplier partners gave away door prizes including TV’s, video game consoles and kayaks along with free food and beverages, shaved ice, musical entertainment and fun for kids including inflatables, pony rides and face paint.

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The company recently wrapped up partnership meetings spanning a number of months where growers were invited to meet with company leadership to share knowledge, express concerns and receive support and training.

“Animal care experts are visiting farms regularly, but these meetings ensure we’re staying connected,” said Whitny Haley, the company’s recently appointed Director of Animal Welfare. “Every farmer has the opportunity to speak directly to Simmons leadership,” Haley added, “Our desire is to build trust and have positive relationships. We think it makes a difference when it comes to raising chickens the right way.”