Story by: Anna Barker, MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach
Fifth-generation farmer, Peyton Sammons’s, deep-rooted love of agriculture led him to a passion for entrepreneurship.
“Agriculture has kind of been a life-long legacy for me,” Sammons said. “I’ve always known that I would work in agriculture.”
The 22-year-old from Whiteville, Tennessee, transferred to MSU from Tennessee Tech to pursue a bachelor’s degree in poultry science. While at Tennessee Tech, he started his own company.
“The name of the company is Peyton’s Poultry,” Sammons said. “It is a full-scale hatchery. We hatch out newborn chicks and raise them all the way up to laying hens.”
Sammons started Peyton’s Poultry three years ago and sold 200 chicks within the first week.
I just continued to grow the business over the next several years,” Sammons said. “The first year we sold about 600 birds and the next year we sold nearly 4,000.
This year Peyton’s Poultry is on track to sell between 8500 and 9000 birds, raising almost $37,000 in revenue.
“That kind of started the entrepreneurship spark in me,” Sammons said.
That spark only continued to grow, leading Sammons from entrepreneurship to innovation.
“I’ve worked in the commercial industry for four years, so I’ve seen all of the modern, state-of-the-art technologies that are available to large businesses,” Peyton explained. “I kept asking myself, ‘why is this not in the backyard sector?’”
Sammons converted that curiosity into ingenuity, developing his own product line for small-scale farmers.
“We developed an elite drinker system for poultry animals,” Sammons said. “The product can water newborn chicks just as well as a full-grown bird.”
The product even protects the animals from bacteria.
“This product prevents biofilm buildup and keeps the water clean,” Sammons said. “Ultimately, it keeps the bird healthier so that the bird can lay more eggs.”
Sammons became involved in the startup movement at MSU through the recent development of the new Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach.
“I passed by the construction every day on the way to class during my first semester at State,” Sammons said. “When I found the E-Center, Eric Hill told me all about entrepreneurship at MSU and what other students were doing. I didn’t know that MSU had this resource but I immediately knew that it was exactly what I was looking for.”
The E-Center was able to help Sammons learn more about the business side of entrepreneurship and connected him with other student entrepreneurs.
“The biggest challenge for me was the business structure because I didn’t have a lot of experience in business,” Sammons said. “Having Eric to go to, and this network of students in the E-Center has been a huge help for me.”
“If you have an idea, start talking to people,” Sammons advised. “Get comfortable with having conversations and really developing communication skills.”