March 8, 2023 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Statehouse Convention Center Little Rock
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Keith Smith Co.

Keith Smith Co.
Category III (56-150 Employees)
Hot Springs

The Keith Smith Co. operates in Hot Springs under a heady banner: largest independent producer and provider of broiler hatching eggs in the nation.

“We’re behind the names and faces of poultry products at the grocery store,” said Keith Smith, vice president of sales. “About 50% of our business is for the export market.”

The Keith Smith Co. supplies quality hatching chicks from Canada to Panama supported by a staff of 136. The company prides itself on speedy, dependable domestic and international delivery along with world-class technical service and advice to ensure the best product performance.

Founded by Smith’s grandfather in 1948, the company shares family connections that extend to customers and growers who are into their third generation as well.

“It’s not just us as a family business,” Smith said. “We work really hard to support other family businesses, so they can pass from one generation to the next.”

From its hatchery facilities, the Keith Smith Co. feeds the poultry chain that flows from incubation to growers to processing. The company’s network of contract growers operates 165 houses spread across 70 farms in a seven-county footprint of Garland, Hot Spring, Clark, Pike, Howard, Montgomery and Polk counties.

At its Hot Springs mill, the Keith Smith Co. mixes its own blends of feed with a base built on copious amounts of corn and soybeans harvested from east Arkansas fields. The company formulates its own recipes for the best broiler chick diet.

The company’s operational perspective is guided by an equation of employees plus customers plus contract growers equals stakeholders. 

“What’s in the best interest for this group to thrive into the future?” Smith said. “This is what guides our decision-making process looking to the future.”

The late J. Keith Smith, company founder, is remembered for his pioneering legacy of taking a one-room feed store with an incubator and turning it into a multimillion-dollar business. He was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2014.

Previous Arkansas Business of the Year Honorees