USPOULTRY recently hosted its annual Financial Management Seminar in Destin, Fla. The event brought together more than 130 industry financial and accounting leaders for three days of professional development, education and networking. Attendees were briefed on current market conditions, industry trends, regulatory issues, tax code updates and more.

Steve Jurek, former president of GNP Company, provided a former industry president and CFO’s perspective of poultry financial management. Jurek discussed the expectations of finance and encouraged looking at more than cost. He commented, “Look at the big picture. Know what is going on in your company and in the industry. As financial professionals, you should manage costs. However, you should also support innovation by engaging your people. As leaders, we need to teach people and maintain good communication at all time. If people know what is going on in the company and what is expected of them, when things get a little wonky or you need to make some quick changes, people will give you the benefit of the doubt. ”


In his presentation on “The Impact of Sustainable Efforts on the Bottom Line,” Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs at JBS USA, observed that sustainability has close ties to economic viability. Bruett remarked, “Sustainability involves economic, social and environmental aspects. If your sustainability group resides in your environmental department, you are missing a tremendous opportunity. It has to encompass everything in your company. Sustainability is about balancing the three economic, social and environmental pillars over the short and long term. Do better today, so you can improve tomorrow.”

Keith Poss, corporate transportation director at Mar-Jac Poultry, addressed “Transportation Concerns for Financial Management” and covered areas such as transportation structure, drivers, fuel consumption, maintenance and repair, accident prevention and regulatory compliance. He encouraged attendees to look at transportation in a different light, stating, “We typically do not think about transportation until we have problems. Without transportation, we do not have a business. Your ability to transport goods can have a major effect on your bottom line. Each company needs to evaluate how they look at transportation costs. They should look at the costs less like a chicken company, but more like a trucking company.”