#Tyson Foods: A Tour From Farm to Plate

An Arkansas Farm

Travel consideration provided.

During my trip to Arkansas last month, I received a full tour of the Tyson Foods facilities in Springdale and surrounding areas. As I mentioned yesterday, the company started in this city during the Great Depression and has kept the majority of its administration in the local area ever since. Tyson is a big part of Springdale, and during our tour, we saw how local residents are involved with the process of creating these products at each step – from the farm all the way to the plate.

Chicken Houses

One of our first stops was visiting Amariah Farms, a chicken farm owned by the Fancher family. The buildings you see above are among 10 chicken houses on the property which are home to 300,000 chickens. Incredibly, the lion’s share of the work on Amariah Farms is done by just two people. By using automated technology – including iPad apps! – to manage much of the farm’s operation helps them to work on this scale. The Fanchers are contracted by Tyson to care for and raise the chickens, which are kept without cages in these long buildings in order to control the climate and keep out predators.

Meeting The Farmers

Meeting the Fancher family – photo courtesy Tyson

The Fanchers gave us a tour of the farm and explained their methods and machinery to us. We had a nice long conversation where they talked about everything from how they got started farming to their position on antibiotic use. It was a pleasure getting to know them!

Smocks & Hairnets!

Putting on our smocks & hairnets to tour the Randall Road Cornish Plant! Photo courtesy Tyson

After the farm, the next stop on our journey is the processing plant. We paid a visit to the Randall Road Cornish Plant, which is the sole factory where all of the Tyson Cornish Hens in the world are packaged and distributed. I donned a smock, goggles, earplugs, and a hairnet, stepping through a sanitary wash and getting a guided tour of the plant. I watched conveyor belts take the hens through cleaning, processing, and packaging before getting boxed up to ship out. I’m fascinated by shows like How It’s Made, so I found the tour to be really interesting and a one-of-a-kind experience! I also enjoyed getting to stand inside the freezer area for a minute since it was a hot Arkansas day. ;)

Food Safety Lab

In order to ensure quality and safety, all of these Tyson processing plants are monitored and tested by their Food Safety & Laboratory Services Network. We toured the WBA Analytical Laboratories Headquarters in Springdale and got to observe their methods in person. Tyson meticulously analyzes its products for quality in this building – where else could you see a man in a lab coat testing tortillas?

<Million Dollar Equipment

The machinery used in the testing facility is state-of-the-art. What you see pictured above is worth one million dollars, and this is just one small area of the lab!

Soxtherm Extraction Process

In addition to testing food samples for safety, they also analyze nutritional content here. What you see above is the Soxtherm extraction process, which they are using to determine fat content in meat and feed for their nutritional panels.

Tyson Discovery Center Tour

Tyson Discovery Center tour – photo courtesy Tyson

Now that the chicken has been raised, processed, packaged, and tested for safety, it’s time for the final stop on our journey: The Tyson Discovery Center. This is Tyson’s Research and Development hub, a 100,000 square foot building where 173 employees brainstorm new and better products. From the chefs that come up with tasty new product ideas in the 16 research kitchens, to the focus group area where consumers do taste tests, the Discovery Center is where Tyson’s new products are innovated and refined. The Discovery Center even has its own mini processing plant on site, where sample runs of new items can be produced without slowing down or interfering with existing productions; this building is also where product packaging is designed and refined.

From the farm to your plate, the process that goes into making food is extensive. I truly enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes peek into Tyson’s process and meeting the people involved – although Tyson is one of the largest corporations in the world, an enormous amount of what they do comes out of this small corner of Arkansas. It’s pretty mind-boggling when you think back to the fact that John Tyson started his business with a nickel!

What part of this process interested you the most? Did anything surprise you?

Exploring Arkansas History With #Tyson

"Tyson's Pride"

Travel consideration provided by Tyson.

Last month, I paid my first visit to Arkansas as part of a media event with Tyson Foods. One of my favorite parts of exploring new areas is getting a chance to experience local history in person – seeing a town with your own eyes brings the past to life in a special way. During my stay, I explored Bentonville and Springdale, which are primarily on the map for being home to Walmart and Tyson Headquarters, respectively. John Tyson and Sam Walton were both local to this area and good friends back in the early days, long before their small companies would turn into internationally-known powerhouses, which helps explain why the two companies are so linked. That, coupled with the the fact that this area is a major trucking hub, gives a clear picture as to how these companies grew and became what they are today.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Beeb touring Crystal Bridges

Photo courtesy Tyson

We started off our visit with a tour of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a free museum founded by Sam Walton’s daughter Alice. An avid art lover, she opened this museum to display a large collection of art from the United States, including some pieces from her private collection. There was a prominent Andy Warhol piece showcased, which was a treat – he is one of my favorite artists, so it’s always a pleasure to view his work in person. Fittingly, there is also an entire hallway of his work displayed on a hallway in Tyson HQ – a literal Andy War-hall. If only he’d made a Tyson chicken print!

Posing with Andy Warhol's "Coca-Cola " painting

Following our tour of the museum, we also stopped by the Walmart Museum in Bentonville. Here, the history of the company is laid out, showing the many products and changes over the years.

Walmart Museum

Vintage Walmart Items

My favorite part was a wall showing some of the most unusual returned items the Sam Walton received. This hand mixer was brought back for a refund due to “Possession”:

Possessed Mixer

Just a few miles down the road in Springdale is the Tyson Founder’s Room museum, which is located in Tyson’s Corporate Headquarters and open to the public.

Tyson Founder's Room

We were shown around by a longtime tour guide – and lucked out to have him, as this was one of his last tours prior to retirement. As with many longtime residents, he was good friends with the Tyson family and remembers seeing John Tyson at his church when he was a child – or, as he was always referred to, “Mr. John”.

"Mr. John"

Mr. John was a product of the depression, starting his chicken farm with a nickel. A true farmer, he knew all there was to know about raising quality chickens, but it was his son Don who had a truly ambitious marketing vision for the company. Don Tyson used his business savvy to propel this small family farm into what we know today.

Stick Figure Business Proposal

Don liked to make his point efficiently. One well-known anecdote is that, prior to the company going public, a team was brought on board to give a thorough presentation to potential shareholders. They labored over a meticulous presentation of spreadsheets and slides – but before they got a chance to speak, Don took the stage and showed the crowd this stick figure diagram. “Look, boys, it’s very simple: We have the farms, which make the chicken for our plants, which goes to the customer, and then we profit. Any questions?” And the rest is history!

Touring The Founder's Room

Our tour group, from left to right: Jenn, Beeb, Ed, Jack, Lori & Susan – photo courtesy Tyson

The Book of Life Sweepstakes Travel to Riviera Maya @WorldMarket #BookOfLife

This is a partnered post with Cost Plus World Market and their partnership with Fox’s movie #BookOfLife all Opinions are my own!

I’m very excited that it’s starting to feel like fall outside and things are starting to look like fall in the stores. The Fall Decorations are my favorite one of the reasons being they include Halloween Décor. I love Halloween, I love decorating and having Halloween themed parties. Of course the kids love Halloween candy, but we also love Halloween themed movies. 


Last time I went to the movie theater with my children I saw a preview for a Halloweenish movie The Book of Life. The Book of life is a cute movie about a Hispanic Romeo and Juliet. It’s an animated movie of a Romeo and Juliet-inspired love story set during a Day of the Dead celebration: Manolo (Channing) is a young matador who wants to shed the expectations of his family to follow his dreams of being a musician and his best friend, Joaquin (Diego), is the successful pride of the town. They compete for the heart of Maria (Zoe). In order to win Maria’s heart and save her life, Manolo must face his greatest fears and follow his heart to rewrite his destiny. Based on the cultural celebration of “Dia de los Muertos” (a day of remembering the memories of lost loved ones)Starring the voices of Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Directed by Jorge Gutierrez (El Tigre, Mad TV) and produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda, Pan’s Labyrith)

With the release of this movie in theaters October 17th Cost Plus World Market is offering the Book of Life Sweepstakes.

World Market’s Book of Life Sweepstakes

· You could win a trip to the Riviera Maya & FREE Movies for a Year!

Book of Life Sweepstakes

· Grand Prize Package:

o 5 Days/6Nights at Grand Velas Riviera Maya (hotel & accommodations)
o Free Movies for a year
o $1,000 World Market gift card
o Book of Life Merchandise

· Plus, three (3) first prizes: $500 World Market gift card
· Sweepstakes ends October 24th, 2014

Book of Life Shop

Another exciting thing that Cost Plus World Market is doing is creating creating a fun Book of Life Toys inspired by the film.

Book of Life Shop

· The Book of Life shop includes inspired toys from the film

o Book of Life Tin Keepsake Box
o Book of Life Guitar
o Book of Life Maracas
o Book of Life Castanets
o Book of Life Manolo Rubber Duck Bath Toy
o Book of Life Chuy Stamp
o Book of Life Light Show
o Book of Life Kaleidoscopes
o Book of Life Swirly Slime
o Book of Life Flashlight Picture Projector


Watch the movie in theaters and get the merchandise at Cost Plus World Market. Which Item do you think you would enjoy the most??

Holiday Family Travel Includes Culture at Outrigger Waikki Beach #Travel

This holiday season, whether travelling with teens, tweens and/or toddlers, the key to planning the best family vacation is to discover a prime location full of culture, unique activities, and gorgeous scenery.  At Outrigger, those family vacations are not only made easy but also provide the atmosphere to create genuine memories.Outrigger Waikiki Beach

It’s a great family travel suggestion; staying with Outrigger’s Hawaiian properties.  Named as two of the “Top Hotel and Resorts in Hawaii” by Travel + Leisure magazine  Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach and Outrigger Reef on the Beach have built a reputation for providing an unparalleled guest experience and providing impeccable service on one of the most picturesque and luxurious beaches in the world.  Outrigger was launched in Hawaii more than 65 years ago and with its year-round tropical warm weather, pristine beaches, and wide array of activities we can see why Hawaii is a popular holiday location and was ranked as the top destination for families by Trip Advisor.

Each of the Outrigger Hawaii beachfront resorts is dedicated to providing the best experience for families with children of any age.  Outrigger Resorts is where local culture meets premier hospitality.

Some of the unique holiday cultural experiences at the Hawaii properties include:

· The art of bamboo stamping

· An introduction to native plants and their uses

· Ukulele lessons

· Jewelry making

· Make a Hawaiian bookmark

· Hula lessons

· History of Polynesian tattoo design

· Santa Claus arriving by canoe!

Holiday season is the most popular time of year for families to travel to Hawaii. We encourage you to share this information with your readers and invite them to discover the rich local culture of the islands by visiting www.outriggerenterprisesgroup.com and www.outrigger.com.

Traveling With a Large Family: 4 Tips

Traveling With a Large Family: 4 Tips

This is a partnered guest post.

Most family vacation packages offer products that cover one or two children. What if you have five or six? Can you even feasibly go on vacation as a family without spending a fortune? Of course you can. You just have to plan ahead. Here are some tips on how to take your whole family on vacation on a reasonable budget.

Use a Travel Agency

Some people shy away from these and prefer to plan everything on their own, but there are some agencies that specifically deal with large families and many others that will help you find a price that works for you. Speak to a travel agent near you, and find out what options are available. You may be surprised at how decent those prices are. You could get good deals on airfare, hotels and attractions just by asking.

Consider Renting a Vehicle

Family vans get quite a workout during the year, and if you’re not sure yours is going to make it on a cross-country road trip, think about renting a vehicle instead. Renting a van can be pricey, so check your budget and look for deals. It’s more expensive to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken van, where you’d have to pay for a rental anyway alongside the cost of repairs and lodging.

Think About Camping

Hotels often have a well-enforced limit on how many people can stay in a room at once. If you can’t afford three or four rooms, pack a tent and consider camping along the way. This can be a great way to get your kids to spend time outdoors while saving money on your trip.

Book Everything Early

Anything that requires ticketing, flights, Broadway shows, busy attractions, should be purchased in advance. Tickets sometimes get more expensive as the date gets nearer. If you wait too long, you may not be able to get enough tickets for everyone. This also lets you solidify your budget since you know exactly how much you’re spending. You won’t have to worry about discovering at the last minute that something costs twice as much as you thought.

Coordinating everyone’s work and school schedules can make vacations tricky enough, but don’t let the fear of high prices keep you from planning a great getaway. Follow these tips and you could have the best vacation of your lives!

Win a Trip To Disney #Aulani Resort & Spa! #VeryBadDaySweeps #VeryBadDay

There is an amazing ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY sweepstakes that just recently launched and to enter all you need to do is share your Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad throwback family photo using #VeryBadDaySweeps on Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win an Adventures by Disney trip for four to Disney Aulani, resort & spa!


Like ALEXANDER on Facebook: Facebook.com/DisneyAlexander

Follow ALEXANDER on Twitter: @DisneyPictures


No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. See official rules: http://on.fb.me/1tatOdF

Relaxing in Style at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

Complimentary stay provided for review purposes.

By Lindsey:

About a month ago I fell viciously ill with the highly contagious puppy fever. I knew it was unreasonable as I already have two large dogs, a cat and a bunny; however no one is truly safe from puppy fever. In a silly attempt to cure myself I came across an ad for a red merle Aussie pup, and thus we brought home this little bundle of joy, little miss Merida.


Of course along with a puppy comes potty training, and with that comes getting up with a puppy in the middle of the night multiple times. Not to mention all the “No! No! Bad dog!” pretty frequently as little bit is quite a chewer, with her second favorite hobby of digging. Needless to say my sleep suffered a bit. Mack and I decided to give a staycation a try; after all it was our old dating anniversary.

We decided on Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa nestled in the lovely Texas hill country, with a Summer Citrus Massage for me.

Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

We also booked a hillside view room so our view looked something like this:

Hillside view

I must admit a large portion of our two night stay involved a good amount of catch up sleep, but eventually it seemed such a shame to let the full resort go to waste. We got out of bed and headed down to the 8212 Wine Bar & Grill for some brunch. My hangar steak salad with tomato jam and blue cheese was absolutely delicious in our table yet again set elegantly against floor to ceiling windows of the beautiful hill country.


Now we were really starting to relax and feel like we were on vacation. Since this was primarily a golf resort, and we are not at all golfers, we opted for some miniature golf action where we discovered if there was going to be a golfer between the two of us it would probably be me. Still excited from my ‘golf’ win I headed to the spa.


The spa here was truly lovely, several serene lounging areas, a wet and dry sauna, and an impressive soaking pool.


The massage was wonderful, staff friendly, and even the locker room was snazzy. I found Mack down in the pool and joined in the lagoon like Jacuzzi for and evening swim. We decided to stay in and order room service as to not disrupt my super tranquil level of relaxation. Instead of fine dining, what could be better than ordering just a bit of some guilty pleasure items, bring on the pizza and grilled cheese! Both were exceptional and even elevated despite two grown adults ordering off the kids menu at 11pm. We left the next day truly refreshed and feeling just as vacationed as if we had traveled to another city. Our first staycation thanks to Omni Barton Creek was a success!

The Ideal Vacation: The Ideal Look #IdealSummerFun

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ideal Image for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am living my ideal vacation at the moment, or rather something very close to it: Anywhere on the beach and I'm happy. I'm visiting my mom in Florida, she lives on the coast so we are right by the ocean and I'm in a swimsuit every single day. I would love to do this every year, just head off to the beach, the Carribean, Hawaii or pretty much any beach area. But I'm not always beach ready.

I'm not always ready for any type of vacation actually. And Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal is ready to help me and you get ready for any type of summer fun with 70% off Laser Hair Removal Services. With laser hair removal, you won't have to worry about waxing or shaving  and you'll be ready for ANYTHING!


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I haven't had this done yet but I'm really interested in giving it a try. My kids are brutally honest about the hair they see while I'm in the pool and right now Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal has 70% off Laser Hair Removal. That's a steal of a deal. I don't want to be embarrassed in the pool or out on the beach. I want to look my best. I want the confidence to be able to walk the beach and hang out with family. 

Not only does Ideal Image have the most highly trained providers in the Industry, they can make you feel ready for anything, summer ready is easy. And here are the top 3 reasons customers choose to get laser hair removal services:



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What would you do to feel more confident for your next vacation, beach excursion or pool visit? If you want more information on Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal request more information

Ideal Image photo IdealImageLogoResized2_zps9411b36e.jpg

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5 Fantastic Fall Things to Do In Montreal

Here are 5 great ideas for things to do this fall in Montreal!

imageGardens of Light

Don’t miss the chance to take your family to see gorgeous Gardens of Light at the Botanical Garden. Whether marveling at the stunning silk lanterns in the Chinese Garden or getting zen in the Japanese Garden, this is a truly enlightening evening escapade. September 5 to November 2.

Mini-express train in Parc La Fontaine

All aboard! The Mini-express electric train in Parc La Fontaine is a little locomotive gem. Climb into its colourful cars and quietly chug-chug your way through the leafy landscape, followed by a delicious lunch—indoors or boxed to go— from Espace La Fontaine Bistro. Rides offered from
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and holidays until mid-October.

Redpath Museum


A “cabinet of curiosities”, the Redpath Museum offers a one-of-a-kind wonderland for everyone. Its permanent (and free) collection highlights natural history, world cultures and mineralogy, plus it has a dinosaur and mummy collection. Sundays features Discovery Workshops and informal guided tours of its Egyptian, mineral and biodiversity exhibits.

Raplapla studio-boutique

Give your little guy or girl a made-in-Montréal Raplapla doll that they will love forever. Stop by the cute and colourful boutique and browse their whimsical collection of hand-crafted dolls, stuffed animals, night owls and more that can be loved, hugged and carted around anywhere!


The Cave of Lascaux – Prehistoric Masterpieces
Montréal Science Centre
Until September 14, 2014
LAST CHANCE to step back in time to the dawn of humanity and discover frescos created 20,000 years ago, long before civilization’s humble beginnings.
DISNEY ON ICE presents Princesses and Heroes
Bell Centre
October 8 to 13, 2104
Watch Disney princesses and heroes come to life on the ice at the Bell Centre. Take advantage of your visit to stop by the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame.

Free admission for kids day at Ecomuseum Zoo
September 14, 2014
Right after back-to-school, have a nice break to the whole family. Free admission for kids under 15 years old, accompanied by a paying adult.

Travel & Join The Panama Canal’s Centennial Celebration


A constant staple on travelers’ bucket lists, the Panama Canal is a man-made masterpiece of pure engineering prowess and ingenuity that must be seen to be believed. And, during its amazing 2014 centennial and our 50th anniversary in 2015, Princess has an assortment of 11- to 20-day adventures — including two festive cruises on December 18 and 29 — starting from $899!*
The canal was meant to be seen from the sea, so be sure to book a balcony for the very best views. Look on in awe as each massive Lock opens and closes raising or lowering the ship, stroll the streets of Cartagena’s beautiful colonial Walled City — a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see Costa Rica’s lush rainforest and exotic array of wildlife including scarlett macaws.



RT Ft. Lauderdale
Coral Princess® or Island Princess®

11-day | 2014: Oct 7, 12, 18^, 29^; Nov 9, 20^, 26^; Dec 1, 7, 12, 18^, 23^, 29^;
2015: Jan 3^, 9, 14^, 25; Feb 5^, 16, 27;
Mar 10, 21^; Apr 1^
Ports: Ft. Lauderdale, Aruba, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Colón, Costa Rica (Limón), Ocho Rios, Ft. Lauderdale



^Grand Cayman or Princess Cays replaces Ocho Rios.



Between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles
Island Princess®

15-day | 2015: Feb 19; Mar 6^
Ft. Lauderdale, Aruba, Cartagena, 2-Day Canal Experience (Full transit of the Panama Canal including the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks; Fuerte Amador), Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Puerto Chiapas, Los Angeles



^Puerto Quetzal replaces Puerto Chiapas and itinerary operates in reverse order.



Between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles
Coral Princess® or Island Princess®

15-day | 2014: Oct 27; Nov 11;
2015: Jan 20; Feb 4^; Apr 12
Ports: Ft. Lauderdale, Aruba, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur), Cabo San Lucas, Los Angeles



^Itinerary operates in reverse order.



From Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles
Pacific Princess®

17-day | 2015: Apr 28
Ports: Ft. Lauderdale, Curacao, Cartagena, Panama Canal (Full transit of the Panama Canal including the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks), Puerto Quepos, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Topolobampo, Cabo San Lucas, Los Angeles


FOR MORE INFORMATION: sales@vacationadventuresunlimited.com