Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence
Harold Harrison was born in 1920 and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics (Agribusiness). He entered World War II military service in the summer of 1941 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in the European Theater as a platoon leader and company commander and was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1945.
He soon began teaching in UGA’s Veteran’s Farm Training Program and developed an interest in chickens. He initially raised 2,000 chickens and made a tidy profit of $400. In 1949, he bought a small incubator for $1,000 that would hatch 3,000 chicks per week. By 1951, he could devote himself to selling chicks to local feed dealers full time.
In the very depressed poultry market of 1954, dealers were no longer buying chicks, and Mr. Harrison started growing broilers, having already expanded his weekly hatching operation to 50,000 chicks. In 1955, he again expanded the hatchery and broiler business to 150,000 birds per week. In 1958, he built his processing plant in Bethlehem and on December 8th started dressing broilers in the same building where we process today. In 1966, he fully integrated by constructing a feed mill in Winder, and in 1976, he constructed a new hatchery that remains a hatching facility today.
Harold’s legacy lives on and prospers. Harrison Poultry now contributes approximately one hundred million dollars annually to the local economy, and is the largest non-government employer in Barrow County. We have more than 1,000 employees and contract with more than 100 growers in several surrounding counties.
R. Harold Harrison - Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame story, photo and video
THE GOLD STANDARD
Harrison Poultry, Inc. is an important integrator and processor of broilers. In 1958, the late R. Harold Harrison, one of the U. S. poultry industry’s original leaders, founded the company in Bethlehem, Georgia. Since its founding, Harrison Poultry has led the way for the development of today’s sophisticated structure that provides, safe, affordable, nutritious, convenient and tasty poultry.
Fun Facts About Our Founder Harold Harrison
Earned his way through college selling men’s clothing in Athens for $15 a week.
Received a blank piece of paper as he crossed the stage for his UGA commencement because he could not pay the $5 required for his diploma.
Served on the Barrow County School Board for 24 years, 12 as Chairman.
Chaired the Winder-Barrow Hospital Authority from 1970-1978.
Served as a Georgia State Senator from 1963 - 1964.
Was master of ceremonies at the Fort Yargo State Park dedication.
Served on the Boards of several banks.
Provided several scholarships to Emory University School of Theology.
Personally funded The Big White Church down the street on Highway #11 as one of his last projects. Today this church continues to grow, with pre-school and kindergarten and active community outreach. Mr. Harrison’s dream continues to touch so many families in the area. (See "Colt's Price Tag is Just Right" news article below)
Provided two annual bonus checks and a retirement pension to his hourly employees….a tradition that continues to this day.
Established a charitable foundation in memory of his parents, with a focus on donating to medical research and church-related activities.