BRUCE M. SIMPSON
Bruce M. Simpson was born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina. Following his marriage to Frances in 1943, he began farming and growing poultry on a contract basis for a feed company in Monroe.
In 1953, Bruce set up his own poultry company, the Simpson Milling Company. He, along with one other employee, started and began to build a thriving business from the ground up. He put together a group of contract growers, built a feed mill to supply feed for those growers, and established breeder flocks to produce eggs for his custom hatched broiler chicks. He furnished the chicks, feed, and medication, paid the growers a set amount for their production, and developed a truck fleet to haul the broilers to the processing plant. During those early years, the birds were sold at about 12 weeks of age to processing plants in Albemarle, Charlotte, and Monroe. Bruce should literally be considered The Father of the Integrated Broiler Industry in Union County." In the early 1960’s, Bruce was involved in turkey production in Union County.
In 1965, Bruce recognized the need for a poultry processing plant to supply dressed poultry for his expanding markets. He built a new plant and hired a hundred workers to process the 100,000 birds per week the company was growing at that time. In 1966, he was approached to consider a merger with Holly Farms. At that time, Holly Farms was also growing rapidly and was able to sell more chickens than they could produce and process in their own facilities. Acquisition of the Simpson Milling Company provided Holly with additional product for their popular new process of cutting up and packaging birds for direct shipment to retail food stores. Following the merger, Bruce was made Vice President of Holly Farms, and Manager of the Monroe Division. He continued with Holly until 1970, when he left to pursue other interests. When he left Holly Farms, the company he started with two employees had grown to 710 employees.
Following his departure from Holly Farms, Bruce began to devote his time to real estate development, including several shopping centers, some commercial properties, as well as several housing developments.
Over the years, Bruce has also been very active in other business and civic activities including serving on the Union County Industrial Board, on the first North Carolina Pesticide Control Board, as a Director on the Board of the United Carolina Bank for 25 years, and as a member of the Board and Vice President of the American Commercial Bank. He was also appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees for Wingate College, and has also served as that Board’s Chairman. Bruce Simpson has not only been a very talented and successful poultry pioneer and businessman, he has also given tirelessly of himself to make the community in which he lives a better place. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that the North Carolina Poultry Federation recognizes his contributions to the growth and development of the North Carolina poultry industry, and, hereby, on this 14th day of August, 1992, inducts him into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame.