Wilkes County Hall of Fame 613 Cherry St, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 • (336) 667-1121

  • Photo

James Nielsen Andrews

Year Inducted: 2017

James Nielsen Andrews, the oldest of six children, graduated with honors from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., and then transferred to North Carolina State University. He graduated from NCSU in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Biological Chemistry.

After graduating from NCSU, he worked for the L.A. Mosher Company, a veterinary supply company in Atlanta. Andrews oversaw product research, production and quality control of ethical veterinary products as well as the purchasing of necessary ingredients and supplies. His next position was with the Mocksville Flour Mill where he was hired to set up a quality control laboratory to test feed ingredients. Andrews was hired because the company had purchased toxic feed ingredients which killed many chickens. Later, the laboratory moved to Wilkesboro. Andrews also started a research program to improve the feed performance and promote the healthy growth of chickens. This program involved 22 chicken houses with 15,000 chickens in each house. In these early days when poultry production was in its infancy, Andrews formulated feed requirements by hand using simultaneous equations. During this period, growth performance of Wilkes County chickens improved. The time required to bring the chickens to market was reduced from ten to six weeks, and the size of the chickens increased from two to four pounds.

In 1961 Holly Farms, Inc. was formed when 16 individual companies were united into one integrated poultry company. Mocksville Feed Mill was one of the 16 companies, and Andrews began working for Holly Farms (became Tyson Foods in 1989). In 1973 he was transferred to the of ce in Wilkesboro. During these years, he held several positions with increasing responsibilities, including: Vice-president, Feed Manufacturing and Nutrition; Vice-President, Feed Manufacturing; and Vice- President, Ingredient Purchasing.

In 1990 Andrews left Tyson Foods and became self-employed as a Feed Consultant specializing in feed, feed mill quality control, feed production, purchasing speci cations, FDA regulations, poultry nutrition and feed formulation. During this period he worked with private clients and did volunteer work in undeveloped countries.

In 2016, Andrews was elected to the Wilkes County Agricultural Hall of Fame. Andrews and his wife, Rose, live in Wilkesboro and have two sons, ve grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.