What Sustainability Means to Chicken Farmers

Rachel Rhodes of Centreville is featured in the National Chicken Council’s video “What Sustainability Means to Chicken Farmers.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Delivering on its commitment to transparency, the National Chicken Council unveiled a new video featuring four chicken farms in Maryland and Delaware that offers consumers a first-hand look onto the farms and their various sustainability practices.

The video features Rachel Rhodes, who raises chickens for Allen Harim; Janice Vickers, who raises chickens for Perdue Farms; and Michelle Chesnik and Terry Baker, who raise chickens for Mountaire Farms.

“I think that any farmer in Maryland is concerned with our environment,” said Rachel Rhodes of Centreville. “Because we live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and we have so many regulations and permits that we adhere to, it’s on the forefront of our minds every single day, from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed. How can we make sure that we’re protecting the Bay for ourselves and for our children?

“Making sure that it’s sustainable and that our kids get to farm on this property is incredibly important to us,” she continued. “If you’re not taking care of your soil and your air, then you have nothing. And, making sure that we do that, either through our cropland production or in our chicken houses, it’s just our lifeblood. It’s important for us to run a farm that is sustainable because we have children who will inherit this farm, and we want to make sure they can have this farm in 100 years.”

Michelle Chesnik of Willards said, “For us, our chicken farm is not only a chicken farm, or a commercial operation, it’s our home. And I want our home to be sustainable. I want the community I live in to be sustainable, and to give the best I can to the environment. You only get out of the environment what you put into it. Being sustainable is all part of being a really good neighbor.”

“I like maintaining the farm, keeping it under control and keeping it clean,” said Janice Vickers of Millsboro, Del. “And we don’t want to pollute anything. I raised my children here, and we all go out and go fishing and boating, and just like everybody else, I want to keep the environment clean.”

“My father was raised on Deal Island and we went out on the water a lot,” said Terry Baker of Millsboro, Del. “We crabbed, fished a lot growing up, and I want my children to be able to do the same. So, it became very important to us to make sure that we had a positive impact on the environment. The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure. We spent a lot of time there growing up, and taking my kids camping at Assateague Island, fishing and swimming. I work every day to do my best to preserve it for my grandchildren one day.”

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