US Lt. Gov. Brown gains insight into poultry industry

06-07-2007 | |

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown recently toured two Perdue Farms facilities to gain insight on how chickens are hatched, raised, processed and finally find their way to the dinner table.

Brown saw how the end product is marketed to attract customers, giving him an idea of how much the industry contributes to the state’s economy.
The tour at the Perdue Innovation Centre began with a presentation by Julie DeYoung, vice president of corporate communications for Perdue Farms. She delivered facts and figures about the industry and its importance to the state’s economy.
Engine for growth
“The industry is an engine for the economy,” DeYoung said, adding that the industry has the largest economic impact of any other agricultural segment in the state. She discussed challenges facing the industry, including the loss of farmland and farmers, as well as the grain deficit issues, which she says is particularly troubling, because the usage stays steady over time, but production varies depending on the weather and other variables.
Three-legged stool
She called the industry’s participants a “three-legged stool” that involves the poultry producers, the poultry companies and grain farmers to all do their part. The industry also faces a competitive disadvantage when compared to other industries – there is a labour deficit, higher energy costs and higher environmental costs.
Important industry
“While we know that the poultry industry is the top segment of Maryland agriculture and a major economic driver for the Eastern Shore, I really wanted to see and hear firsthand the benefits and issues surrounding the industry,” Brown said. “By touring Perdue Farms, I saw just how important this industry is to thousands of families in Maryland, how progressive the poultry business is, and how tied to the earth it remains.”
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