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Pilgrim’s Pride growers awarded by U.S. PEA

February 4, 2011  by Pilgrim's Pride

February 2, 2011 – Three contract growers for Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation were recently honored for environmental excellence at their family-owned farms by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (U.S. PEA).

The awards were presented at the annual International Poultry Exposition show in Atlanta, GA. It marks the first time in the history of the award that three regional winners grow for the same company.

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Applicants were rated in several categories, including dry litter or liquid manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques and participation in education or outreach programs. Applications were reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies, and state trade associations in selecting national winners. Each winner received a $1,000 check.

The three winning growers were:

  • Todd and Rodney Huneycutt, owners of Huneycutt Brothers’ Family Farm in Albemarle, NC. Their farm includes six poultry houses on 2,200 acres. The family-owned farm is dedicated to environmental stewardship, protecting the environment through science, technology, and best management practices. The Huneycutts maintain a nutrient management plan for litter management, with the majority of the litter used on their own fields. The family reserves 25 acres for a natural habitat for deer and other forest animals.
  • Carole and Tim Shoemaker, owners of Shoemaker Farm in Burlington, WV. The farm is a third generation, family-run operation that includes two broiler houses on 172 acres. The Shoemakers use a nutrient management plan for applying litter to their land, along with a composter. The farm diverts rainwater from buildings through grass buffers before it can reach surrounding streams. To help enhance wildlife, the farm has dedicated 18 acres of forested woodland as a protected sanctuary for wildlife. Shoemaker Farms also practices energy conservation on a daily basis. The farm is using cold cathode lighting to install radiant heat, resulting in 30 percent fuel savings.
  • Bud Shaver Jr., of Lucky Charm Farms in Weyers Cave, Virginia. The farm is composed of 1,755 acres with three broiler chicken houses. Lucky Charm utilizes a nutrient management plan for applying litter to their land, using approximately 50 percent for their own use. The remaining 50 percent is sold to third-party buyers. Through its conservation practices, the farm has taken steps to eliminate run-off through the use of a three-mile fence. Another conservation project consists of 10 acres of flood plain, where Bud and his wife, Misty, planted 1,100 trees and native grasses. The flood plain provides a soft boundary for wildlife.

“We are tremendously proud of our contract growers and their focus on environmental best practices,” said Walt Shafer, Pilgrim’s executive vice president of operations. “These family farmers recognize the importance of being responsible stewards of the environment and promoting sustainability throughout their operations. They are an asset to both our company and our industry.”


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