Gold Kist chairman commits life to feeding others physically, spirituallycomment (0)
May 17, 2001
The life of a poultry farmer is one Dan Smalley said is never predictable.
But Smalley, a member of First Baptist Church in Arab, remains dedicated to helping feed others. That commitment is both professional through the work he does and personal as he shares his testimony with others.
Commenting on his professional calling, Smalley, a recently elected board member for The Baptist Foundation of Alabama, said he enjoys poultry farming both because of the challenge it offers and the fact farming can be viewed as a ministry.
“It’s challenging work, but I’ve always enjoyed working on a farm and seeing things grow,” Smalley said. “I feel like we’re making a contribution not only to our family, but to feeding the world.” He said the work of a poultry farmer can vary from a few hours each day to all day – depending on the weather, age of chickens and other factors. “You never know from day to day,” Smalley said. “And that’s one thing I like about it, because you get up every day and there could be new challenges you’re not aware of until you get to the farm.”
Smalley serves as chairman of the board with Gold Kist, which processes some 15 million chickens each week, with some 2 million of which he provides annually. He said his work as a businessman offers an opportunity to minister in many ways through honesty in business dealings and by placing him in contact with people who need to see an example of what a Christian life should be. “I feel a great obligation to them to make sure that the business is carried on in a manner which is upright, honest, forth right and above reproach,” he said.
Now Smalley looks forward to applying his Christian commitment through his involvement with The Baptist Foundation. “It looks like an exciting opportunity, with all the things the Foundation does for Baptist organizations in the state, as well as individual Baptists,” he said. “The scope of what they do is larger than I had any idea of.”
Discussing his involvement with First, Arab, Smalley said he was served on several committees, including time as chairman of the finance committee and chairing a capital fund campaign. The 51-year-old Smalley said he believes it is important for all church members to give something to their congregation.
“As a church member and as a Christian, I think you have responsibilities that are given in the Bible to care for God’s work and do your share and use your talents,” Smalley said. “In any organization, whether it’s secular or church, it seems like there’s always a small percentage that take responsibility and do most of the work,” he said.