Risser’s Poultry, Inc. was founded in Lititz,
Pennsylvania by Carl B. Risser in 1928. He started
the business by visiting local farms to purchase
small lots of poultry which he then brought back to
his own farm. The family helped care for the birds
until Carl had a full truck load, which he would take
to live bird markets in Washington, D.C., Baltimore
and Philadelphia. A forward-thinking businessman,
Carl invented and patented a cart system for loading
hens. This system proved extremely efficient
and allowed him to haul more chickens per day,
growing the business further.
The business continued to grow and eventually Carl
retired while company operations were taken over
by his son Bill Risser and son-in-law Mel Herr. In the
early 1990’s, Carl’s grandsons, Jeff Risser and Mike
Herr, took over management responsibility of the
company and continue to run the business today.
Throughout the years, the company has diversified
and expanded to encompass other related areas of
the poultry industry. The trucking side of the operation
has grown tremendously and continues to be
the mainstay of the business. The production of
broilers is now a large part of the business. Risser’s
Poultry, Inc. produces and sells approximately
60,000 birds per week to be sold at the New York
Live Bird Market system. Cage-free egg production
is also a large part of the company’s business.
The company contracts with local farmers to produce
the eggs while still maintaining ownership of
the birds. Currently, the company has 600,000
birds in production. The service end of the business
has also grown, providing comprehensive production
oversight for independent producers.
At Risser’s Poultry, Inc., we continue to improve
and upgrade our equipment and processes. Our
goal is always to remain innovative and keep pace
with the many advances within our industry. We
recently purchased several scissors lift trucks which
allow us to quickly and efficiently load and unload
birds from newly constructed layer buildings as well
as from multiple trucks at the same time.
Risser’s Poultry, Inc. is also proud to be part of a
team of industry specialists, along with scientists
from Penn State University, who developed the
Poultry Handling and Transportation Quality
Assurance (PHTQA) certification program. The program
provides training for poultry transportation
and catch crews in methods of biosecurity, disease
recognition, emergency planning, and the safe and
humane handling of birds before, during, and after
transport. The certification involves transportation
and handling of several species including day old
poultry, breeders, pullets, spent fowl, broilers and
turkeys. PHTQA is the first third party certification
of this type to cover several poultry species.
Today, while still being very much the same operation
started by Carl Risser, Risser’s Poultry, Inc. has developed
into a full-service company within the poultry
industry. Our goal is to serve the needs of our customers
in the most effective way possible. We are constantly
looking to the future to be pro-active in meeting
those needs. After 85 years, Risser’s Poultry, Inc.
continues to be progressive in the poultry industry,
continually evolving to meet each customer’s needs.