Continuing the Family Legacy

November 22, 2019

Continuing the Family Legacy
Mike West
California Egg Farmer

West views hen welfare and egg safety as his responsibility which “starts with the people in our hen houses.”

Owned and operated for more than a century, JS West is all about family. Currently managed by 3rd and 4th generation family members, the organization’s 280-plus employees are considered extended family.

President Mike West does not take his commitment to family lightly. He never says “I” but always uses “we,” realizing “employees are what makes our company.” West oversees JS West including the egg farms, which are United Egg Producer (UEP) Certified.  He realizes his biggest obligation is to JS West’s customers and consumers.

West views hen welfare and egg safety as his responsibility which “starts with the people in our chicken houses.” Managers understand they are on the front line and help foster a culture of food safety and hen welfare. Weekly production meetings ensure strict compliance with state and federal regulations. Internal and external audits are frequently held to confirm the farms are adhering to the UEP Certified and Humane Farm Animal Care guidelines.

While attending Cal Poly, earning a degree in poultry science, West received “hands-on” training, caring for a flock of chickens and marketing the eggs as part of his course work. After a brief stint in the golf business, West formally joined the company, working every single job and earning the respect of employees.  Little did he realize, he was learning many things he uses today as President. West also draws on the wealth of knowledge from his dad, and the organization’s former president, Gary West.

A favorite part of the job for West is hanging out with employees, cultivating a productive and fun culture. He exemplifies and fosters “do whatever it takes to get the job done and done right, for the right reasons.”

The West family has been in the egg business a long time. West felt destined to continue the family legacy, and his two teenagers are developing an interest in joining the organization as well.