John Tyson began selling chickens in 1935, when he bought 50 chickens in Arkansas and sold them at a profit in Chicago.
Tyson Feed & Hatchery, as he named his company two years later, was dedicated to the buying and selling of chickens, and was incorporated in 1947.
Tyson gradually became involved in raising chickens, which gave him more control over what he sold.
In 1957 Tyson opened its first processing plant in Springdale, Arkansas.
In 1963 the company changed its name to Tyson’s Foods and went public on the New York Stock Exchange.
During the 1970’s Tyson built a new egg facility, a computerized feed mill and plant, acquired the poultry division of Wilson Foods, and made numerous acquisitions to improve their business. The company also changed its name once more, this time to Tyson Foods.
In 1995 Tyson was the leading chicken firm in the United States and its shares reached a peak in 1998.
In 2001 Tyson diversified with its $4.4 billion acquisition of IBP, the world’s largest beef processor.
Today Tyson Foods is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork. Tyson is the second largest food company in the Fortune 500. It has 115,000 employees and had $32.3 billion in revenue in 2011.