Meet Ronald “Trey” Braswell, III., the fourth-generation president of Braswell Family Farms. Trey took helm of the business after his father stepped down in 2017, but like the generations before him, his commitment to the business didn’t start there.
Trey began getting his feet wet in the family business while in high school. He would sweep the floors at our processing facility, as well as unload rail cars and maintain the ingredients bins at our feed mill. As high school graduation neared, Trey chose to pursue a degree in Business from N.C. State University. He believed this would allow him to bring fresh and innovative ideas to the family farm.
In 2008, Trey returned to the business after his father’s health began to decline. Trey remembers that those first few years back were full of listening and learning from our family of employees. It was important to him to understand the breadth of the business that has so many moving parts, from feed, to raising pullets, to egg production.
As he started to grasp the inter-workings of the company, Trey began to make adjustments to move the family farm forward from just a feed and egg farm to a large-scale agriculture business.
These changes came first in the form of new facilities and equipment. Trey’s first project was constructing new pullet houses to ensure the chicks that would soon mature to our laying hens had a safe and healthy start to their life. Trey also added two new hen houses to our Red Hills farm, an extension of his father’s contributions.
Trey was also adamant about providing every type of egg so that each consumers’ needs are met. In addition to our organic and cage-free offerings, Trey oversaw the construction of our first pasture-raised organic farm that began production in the spring of 2018.
Changes also came in the form of organizational adjustments within the company. Trey focused on developing a stewardship team that would center the company’s decision-making around the newly established Mission, Vision, and Values.
Trey attributes many of the successful changes to C12, a peer advisory group with Christian values. Trey’s involvement in C12 also led to the implementation of a corporate chaplain who visits with Braswell employees weekly.
Perhaps the biggest step forward came in 2017. As Scott passed the torch to Trey to lead the company as the fourth-generation president, Trey announced the re-branding of the company. Previously Braswell Foods, the company chose to re-brand to Braswell Family Farms to pay homage to the past three generations of the business and exemplify the family culture.
Trey noted that growing up around the business was like growing up with a really big family. Some employees on the farm were and still are like aunts and uncles to him. To continue with this devoted family atmosphere, Trey and the leadership team incorporated the Care Team in the spring of 2018 as a means to ensure every need is met for the employee, their families, and our community as a whole.
Trey hopes that his daughters and nephews will share the same fondness of the family legacy as he has and that they will become the fifth generation of Braswells to grow the business even further.