A Sumter County Homecoming

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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By: Tracy K. Hall

It was all so very Sumter County. A white tent was raised to welcome celebrants. Under the white tent there were little white wedding chairs and tables with not only table clothes, but also table overlays and in the center was a beautifully made Leon Holloway special, marking yet another one of our important moments. The room was wisely set, as there was audience sitting, then the grace of a space to mingle with our neighbors as we love to do, and oh how we made use of the space! A banquet table ready to offer us a feast lined the back of the tent. And of course, there was another table full of gifts for us to remember the day by.

The day was worthy of celebration and remembrance. We were welcoming a new neighbor, and they were confessing their love of Sumter County. Tamarack Foods will not only be joining our industrial community, but they will also be joining us as neighbors, and they have already proven themselves to be fantastic contributors on both fronts. By way of introduction, Tamarack sees their mission as “more than a food production company.In their words, “We unite families around the dinner table. We provide solutions that allow restaurants to feature delicious signature meals. We give life to ideas, so we can support the growth initiatives of some of America’s most successful grocery stores. And we take care of people, from our own production team to the consumers who buy our products.”  Sounds like a perfect match for Sumter County, doesn’t it? Tamarack’s President, Timothy Andersen explained to the crowd how that manifest. While Tamarack has other locations, they sought out somewhere in the Southeast to focus on making available the finest of protein products. They believe in high quality products, work ethics and relationships. Their products meet such quality standards the best of chefs use them, including those chefs in a home kitchen. At the Americus plant, they specialize in bringing chicken products to the table. They are ready made, fresh and top of the line, without using processing methods which damage quality. Timothy allowed the group to witness what a typical day in the plant looks like through a virtual tour. Then he allowed us to be welcomed to the celebration by Governor Brian Kemp as he congratulated Sumter County on being the perfect place for Tamarack and wished Tamarack the best in their endeavors.

Timothy Andersen

Then the man with his feet on the ground, setting the milieu for the local plant was Robert Fleet, the plant manager. He let it be known how very much he is dependent upon his workforce and was apparent in his passion to see them excel in areas which reach even further than the workplace. He is a man dedicated to seeing success in many areas, not only on a bottom line. He praised who Sumter County is through his words. He praised the ready and quality workforce he got to choose from. He clearly saw how badly we want them to join us outside of the plant, and he is dedicated to being the neighbor we so desperately need. He and his team have already invested in civic projects such as cleaning neighborhoods. It has been their joy to join with us in this manner, and in doing so we have learned so much about who the people of Tamarack are.

Robert Fleet

As is the work of the Sumter County Economic Payroll Development, Rusty Warner and his board have worked diligently to sell Sumter County as the premiere location for new industry. Rusty and his team court industry which will be a good match for Sumter County. They very intentionally go about selling us to industry. They move mountains to make doing business in Sumter County a joy. They use our people, our greatest resource, to show industry exactly what we have to offer. It is absolutely a courtship done by people who are completely sold out to embracing our excellence. It is their job to make sure companies like Tamarack are aware of who we are, including both our strengths and limitations. Rusty and his team got their message across to Tamarack, and make no mistake, you are very important to the Authority. Your words on who we are important. How you present Sumter County matters to industry. Please know how vital your piece is in this process. The bigger cheerleader you are for us, the more impact Rusty and his team can have just by simply pointing them to you. Rusty does it often. Know you matter. And Tamarack is a perfect example of why it matters. They have made extensive infrastructure investments into Sumter County. What they have done with buildings own by the Authority alone is phenomenal. They have invested heavily in our people by providing a livelihood to over 40 of our neighbors. When our neighbors are succeeding in their jobs, that directly impacts you. It impacts you on levels you might not be aware of. It gets us closer to being the dream. Tamarack is getting us closer to being the dream. Rusty made these points as he addressed us.


Finally, Mayor Lee Kinnamon took the podium and again gave gratitude of the work this community has done in being the perfect match for Tamarack. He once again encouraged us to embrace our excellence and celebrate it out loud so companies like Tamarack would see what we think of our community. Because we are our best salesmen. And once again gratitude was given for a community which makes a place at the table for everyone, no matter who or where they are. There was special gratitude for Tamarack for intentionally claiming their spot at the table.

It was indeed a place for celebration and remembrance and hope. It was indeed so very Sumter County. There was a home coming, and a ribbon cutting and the relief of delight that someone found their way to us, chose us, and is intentional about being true to us. There is a table, complete with a spread and an overlay, being held by the beauty of a flower arrangement to celebrate us. You are welcome to have a seat. You are needed to welcome others to their seat. Never doubt how very much you are needed. And celebrate in the fact you are chosen! Welcome home, Tamarack, thanks for bringing your best to the table, both literally and figuratively.


To learn more about Tamarack, including how to apply for employment please visit their website at tamarackfoods.com