In Gainesville, chickens rule the roost, thanks to a native son who made Gainesville the poultry capital of the world.
Jesse Jewell was born in 1902. His father owned a feed and seed store. After studying civil engineering, Jewell went to work in the family business. During the Great Depression, Jewell got into the poultry business and introduced the concept of vertical integration to the industry, combining all the phases of the business, from raw materials, to processing, to distribution within one company.
Jewell provided jobs all over north Georgia and pumped money into Gainesville’s economy throughout the depression. His innovative business practices made J.D. Jewell and Company the largest integrated chicken producer in the world, setting the standard for the industry.
Jewell also led the way in hiring practices. He was among the first to employ black workers.
The Jesse Jewell Parkway in north Georgia honors the pioneering businessman in the Poultry Hall of Fame, born on March 13, 1902, Today in Georgia History.