Mountaire Corp., one of the largest private companies headquartered in Arkansas, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding by the family of current Chairman Ronnie Cameron.
“The Cameron family opened the business in 1914. They’ve always owned it; they’ve always managed it,” Executive Vice President Dee Ann English told Whispers recently.
The company ranked second on Arkansas Business’ most recent list of the state’s largest private companies with revenue north of $1.8 billion in the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, 2012. It also employs between 6,000 and 7,000 people.
But Arkansans might be forgiven for not realizing what a big deal Mountaire is, since only about 45 of its employees are in Arkansas. And the Mountaire name was never as well known here as that of its original product, Prime Quality Feeds.
Prime Quality was sold in 2007 and the mill near downtown North Little Rock was dismantled. Now the company is headquartered in Little Rock, but most of its operations — the production of poultry products from breeding to plastic-wrapped supermarket trays of private-label, ready-to-cook chicken — are in Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina.
In celebration of its centennial throughout 2014, Mountaire plans job fairs, scholarships and community services awards, a “Mountaire Faith & Family Night” and the finale, “Thanksgiving for Thousands” feeding program.