Featured Partner Profile: Scott Early, Hyline North America

Posted: 3/5/2014

Scott Early profile


Like many of the other products on the grocery store shelves, an egg’s packaging can make it difficult to see the true value of what’s inside. In contrast to the colorful boxes and packaging on many products, the simple white or brown shell doesn’t do justice to the nutritional value and the economic impact each egg represents.

One egg has lots of vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and antioxidants – and all for 70 calories.  The nutrients in eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more. At less than 15 cents apiece, eggs are an affordable and delicious breakfast option. 

Each egg also represents the care that today’s farmers put into raising chicks and caring for laying hens that produce the eggs we enjoy.  There are 3 million laying hens in South Dakota and 282 million in the US. Last year South Dakota egg farmers produced 696 million eggs with a total value of $37.9 million.

The majority of those laying hens get their start at a Hyline North America hatchery.  Hyline has a rich history.  The company was founded in 1936 and is the oldest company in the U.S. focused on poultry breeding and poultry layer production. It was founded by Henry A. Wallace, a former Secretary of Agriculture and Vice President, who also founded the first company to research, produce and sell hybrid seed corn, now DuPont Pioneer. 

Scott Early is the sales manager for Hyline North America based in Sioux Falls.  He was born in Minnesota and began his career in the feed industry in Iowa after earning a degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota.  He moved to Sioux Falls and also earned an MBA from the University of South Dakota. 

“Agriculture has always been an important part of my life,” said Scott.  “My dad was a large animal veterinarian and I’ve spent my career working with farmers and livestock and poultry producers to help them better manage and care for their animals and flocks.”

Scott is a member of the Ag United board of directors, serving as a representative of the South Dakota Poultry Industries Association (SDPIA). In addition to egg producers, SDPIA represents turkey and geese producers in the state.  Scott has served as director and president of SDPIA, director and president of the Midwest Poultry Federation.  He is also active in the community,  including serving as past president of Roosevelt High School Booster Club, coaching YMCA youth basketball for 10 years and an active member of St. Michael Parish in Sioux Falls.

Scott’s wife Julie is a registered nurse.  They have three grown daughters. Their daughter Michelle is a DVM and heads up Jenni-O Turkey Store’s veterinary and nutritional services.   Scott and Julie have two grandchildren with another on the way.

HyLine North America has eight hatcheries across the U.S. where eggs are hatched and day-old chicks are delivered to egg farms such as Dakota Layers in Flandreau or National Foods in Plankington.  The chicks grow and mature for 17 weeks.  By 18 weeks they are fully mature hens and begin laying eggs.

Just like other areas of agriculture, technology and management practices have improved to provide better care for hens and the environment.  Researchers at the Egg Industry Center conducted a first-of-its-kind lifecycle analysis of U.S. egg production from 1960 to 2010 and found that today’s hens are producing more eggs and living longer due to better health, nutrition, and their living environment. Yet at the same time, egg farms are using fewer resources and producing less waste.

Compared to 1960, Hens today produce 27 percent more eggs per day and are living longer, and use a little over half the amount of feed and 32 percent less water to produce a dozen eggs.  And, the egg production process releases significantly less polluting emissions, including 71 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.  Climate controlled barns protect hens from predators, disease and weather conditions.  Flocks are constantly under the watchful eyes of veterinarians, nutritionists and flock supervisors.

Poultry producers are also an important market for the soybeans produced by crop farmers.  Across the country, broilers and turkeys consume about 44 percent of all the soybeans used by livestock in the United States. Layers consume an additional 7 percent.

Egg, turkey and goose production in South Dakota combine with other ag sectors to drive the state’s economy and build rural communities, said Scott.

“The important role of agriculture in South Dakota and Sioux Falls was evident during recent economic downturn,” he said.  “The impact we saw in South Dakota was less than in many other areas due to the strength of food production and ag economy.”

He also sees a bright future with the new generation of farmers and industry professionals. 

“It is exciting to see the growing enrollments in agriculture programs at colleges and young people seeing opportunities in agriculture and livestock and poultry production,” he said.  


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