1902 - 1975
Jesse Dickson Jewell was born in Gainesville, attended the University of Alabama and Georgia Tech, then returned to his hometown in 1922 to work in the family's feed, seed and fertilizer business.
Encouraging area farmers to raise chickens, he founded a small poultry dressing plant on nearby Maple Street in the basement of a feed warehouse. He pioneered creative techniques and unique machinery to process an increasing volume of poultry. The enterprise grew into the world-renowned J.D. Jewell Company featuring a contract grow-out program for farmers, hatchery, feed mill, high-volume processing plant, rendering plant and a bulk feed system. His work created a demand for specialists in nutrition, poultry science, poultry marketing and transportation.
The father of the ingenious "vertical integration" management program for chicken production, his feed conversion incentive plans benefitted farmers helping guide the area's agriculture economy through and beyond the nation's great depression. The program, from avian parent breeding to brand name marketing, is emulated worldwide today by all poultry producing firms.
A leader in civic and industry affairs, Jewell served as president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Elks Club and the Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association. He was a founder of the National Broiler Council and inducted in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Poultry Hall of Fame.
Believing that education is paramount to a strong family structure, his scholarship program sent many local women through Brenau College. Jewell's work ethic and business acumen were highly acclaimed. His hometown became the "Poultry Capital of the World," largely based upon Jesse Jewell's vision, personal integrity and energetic leadership.