Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms, Laurel, Mississippi, was installed today as Chairman of the National Chicken Council, the trade association for the chicken production and processing industry. Bill Lovette, president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Greeley, Colorado, took office as Vice Chairman, and Michael Helgeson, chief executive officer of GNP Company, St. Cloud, Minnesota, became Secretary-Treasurer.
The new officers were installed during the NCC Annual Conference held in Washington, D.C., and attended by members of the industry from across the country. Officers serve one-year terms.
Butts has been president and COO of Sanderson Farms, a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: SAFM) since November 2004. He has nee with the company since 1973, working his way up through a variety of assignments and serving as processing division manager, director of processing and sales, and vice-president of sales. He was elected to the Sanderson Farms board of directors in 1998.
He has served on the NCC board since 2004 and has also served on the boards of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and the Mississippi Poultry Association. In Laurel, he has served on the boards of directors for the Association for Excellence in Education, the United Way of the Pine Belt, and the Laurel Country Club, and the Session at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Butts is a native of Laurel and graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing and sales management. He lives in Laurel with his wife, Susie. They have three children – Christie, Stephanie,
and Casey — all of whom have graduated from Ole Miss.
Lovette joined Pilgrim’s (NYSE: PPC) as president and chief executive officer on January 3, 2011. He served as president and chief operating officer of Case Foods for the previous two years. Before that, Lovette spent 25 years with Tyson Foods in various roles in senior management, including president of its international business unit, president of its foodservice business unit, and senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods.
He began his career in the poultry business in 1982 with Valmac Industries, which was later acquired by Tyson Foods. He has served in many leadership roles in the industry, including chairman of USPOULTRY and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. Lovette is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. Lovette and his wife, Carolyn, have two grown children.
Helgeson has served as CEO and a member of the board of directors of GNP Company (formerly Gold’n Plump Poultry) since 1993. He joined the company in 1974 and worked in various divisions, including new products manager in the sales and marketing division, project manager in the broiler division, personnel manager at the Cold Spring, Minnesota, processing plant, and purchasing/elevator manager in the feed and grain division. He spent his first two years in Indonesia researching and developing a broiler operation.
Helgeson holds a BS degree in business from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Kotz Graduate School of Management. He lives near St. Cloud with his wife, Karel. They have two grown sons.
Mike Brown of Vienna, Virginia, was elected to a full term as president of NCC. He joined NCC as president in March of this year, succeeding George Watts.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.