Sheldon Lavin’s Family-Owned Farm Acquisitions

OSI Group has produced some of the world’s top meat products, and one of their most popular distributions come in the chicken market. CEO Sheldon Lavin has helped acquire several family-owned chicken farms including Fair Oaks Farms in Wisconsin and Amick Farms based in South Carolina. These farms have done a tremendous job raising livestock over the years, and they’ve upheld the corporate responsibility philosophy that Lavin has put in place at OSI Group. Although corporate responsibility may be what guides OSI Group, Lavin has said the company really doesn’t work like a corporation. All the way from these farms to the assembly lines in the plants and the researchers in the food science departments, Sheldon Lavin says everything is about family and hearing from all of those employees what ideas they have.

Sheldon Lavin is greatly respected for how he’s built OSI Group into a billion-dollar company but still kept it close to the Kolschowsky family’s roots. The Kolschowsky family are the company’s original owners who had named the company Otto & Sons back in the 1920s, and they began their relationship with Lavin not long after McDonald’s had chosen them to provide their meats. Sheldon Lavin had experience as a bank advisor and now head of a finance consulting company, and he served as the intermediary for Otto & Sons to get a bank loan to build a big factory that could output products to match high demands of McDonald’s. He had been offered the opportunity to become an executive and owner in Otto & Sons for several years, and at first he was unwilling to accept that position because he loved the finance world. But several years later as he became more involved with the company and as the Kolschowsky brothers faced retirement, Lavin became CEO and was told he could use his growth strategies to make the company big.

From the time Sheldon Lavin became CEO to the establishment of OSI China, an India branch and recent buyouts of Baho Food and a Tyson Food plant, OSI Group has built its plants into 17 different countries and serves over 40 others. One thing Lavin has done with OSI is keep its operating facilities clean in its product and fuel output, and he also was proud to accept the UK’s safety council Globe of Honour for keeping employees safe in the facilities. Lavin is also the recipient of the Global Visionary award which underscored his work on building the small meat market into the global chain it is today.

Sheldon Lavin info: www.crunchbase.com/person/sheldon-lavin