At the end of the second world war, Alan Jackson opened a butcher shop in West Armidale.
This venture led to the purchase of a small abattoir on the outskirts of Armidale to supply meat to his retail shop. Over time this operation expanded with the plant processing up to 2,000 lambs, 100 bodies of beef and 200 pigs per week. At this time the operation was the largest in Northern New South Wales and was supplying carcass meat to butchers on the NSW north coast.
In 1960 the NSW government decided to close all small processing establishments and a new export plant was built in Guyra NSW.
Alan Jackson was appointed manager, a position he held for the next seventeen years.
With Alan leaving the family business to manage the Guyra plant, his son John Winston Jackson took over the management of the family operations in Armidale. With the completion of the Guyra plant, operations at Armidale ceased and were moved to this new establishment. The Jackson family was the major operator at the plant for many years and went on to establish a substantial domestic and export business.
As the passage of time eroded the economic viability of government owned meat works, John realized a meat works under total family control was the answer, and in 1993 with the acquisition of an abattoir at Wallangarra on the NSW and QLD border this idea came to fruition.
Despite extensive and prolonged pressure from competitors, the Wallangarra plant grew quickly and continued to flourished.
In 2001 another meat plant was constructed in Tamworth NSW. This state of the art abattoir consolidated the family business and, "Country Fresh Australia”, became a major player in the Australian meat processing landscape.
Offices were established in America and China and a large domestic distribution centre was acquired in Coffs Harbour NSW. The company now provided premium meat and meat co-products to a global market and employed up to 750 people.
By 2009 consolidation within the Australian meat industry was becoming a more pressing issue, and an opportunity to sell all meat packing and distribution centres held by the Jackson family to a South Australian processor was finalised.
Over the years in the meat business the family purchased grazing land when funds became available, and continued to expand the farming enterprise following the sale. The family now owns 20,000 acres of blue ribbon properties around the New England region.
Currently the enterprise fattens 15,000 steers, and carries 1,500 cows and 10,000 ewes. The company now operates under the Jackson Agriculture banner with the head office based in Armidale NSW.