Food is not always something that you put in your mouth and eat!

The current state of our economy, unemployment, and an increase of homelessness and hunger says at the very least that our binge of wastefulness is over. The old adage of “Waste Not Want Not” is more than appropriate during these troubled times and words such as recycle, reuse, or make do are now popular. Americans are tightening the belt and rethinking priorities.

According to news stories Tyson and Perdue are looking for new chicken houses to supply their processing plants in Accomack County, Virginia. Perdue says that they could use as many as 300 new houses and Tyson claims they need 125 new chicken houses.

Ironically, there are at least that many empty chicken houses in the area that could fill the needs of both companies but that is not satisfactory to either one. No sir-ee they want NEW! Perdue and Tyson must have missed the memo about many people not even being able to afford groceries.

Never mind new chicken houses, which, by the way, run about $300,000 each. Just think folks if they get all they want – $135,000,000 will be spent just in chicken houses. Add land value of $10,000 per acre, farm equipment needed to support the poultry houses and we are talking a lot of bucks!

I haven’t even mentioned the added cost to taxpayers to safely remove or utilize all of the chicken manure. Nor did I mention that these additions will supply processing facilities which are located on the Delmarva Peninsula which has already been tagged as a primary source of agricultural runoff contributing to the degradation of one of our National Treasures, the Chesapeake Bay. — More on this subject later!

Back to the many empty chicken houses within the region. Once upon a time these farms were recruited by chicken companies such as Perdue and Tyson to build chicken housing to fill the needs of their processing facilities. The farmers collectively borrowed millions of dollars using their homesteads as collateral to build facilities according to company specifications. Many loans were backed by the U.S. government.

The loans were given with no more than a company contract that guaranteed 1 flock of chickens which is 7 weeks. Granted things such as a “new house guarantee” was added into the mix however this only duped lenders and borrowers into thinking that it meant chickens would be on the farms for a very long time generating income. What they didn’t know was that a “new house guarantee” was only something that meant the farmer would have security in a minimum payment for raising a flock of chickens not a guarantee of getting chickens.

When the corporate chicken world decided that these chicken houses no longer met their wants for NEW housing with the latest bells and whistles the contracts were terminated. Forget what the borrower, lender, or the U.S Government perceived the initial agreement to be. Contracts are terminated “at will”.

I’m sure that most of us are aware of how hard it is to get a loan during the Great Recession that we are presently in. We are also painfully aware of the banking bailouts that have happened courtesy of our tax dollars and the simple truth that our government is broke. What puzzles me is how in the world could any lender or our government give million dollar loans for new chicken housing on such a flimsy guarantee of one flock of chickens?

Perdue and Tyson need to “rethink” their wants and learn to make do with what they have already created. The best advice for them is to recycle and reuse the chicken farms that they’ve left out there empty and unable to repay existing loans given to an industry that duped lenders and the government into shelling out millions.

Comments on: "Perdue and Tyson Need to Rethink Their “Wants”" (4)

  1. J. Craig Watts said:

    Holy moly frijole…
    Just what the country needs right now..more chicken houses. Is there anybody out there dumb enuff (like I was) to believe that same sad song. I am with you sister..they need to write a new song and sing it to those already invested in the business (or should I say hobby).


  2. J. Craig Watts said:

    And I also think that a new grower who will not immediately realize that his life has become a charade full of smoke and mirrors is just as attractive as a new house.


  3. You are right on the mark JCW! I took the oportunity to take a ride around the country side on the Delmarva Peninsula and started counting all of the empty chicken houses. Collectively, these farms could start an entire new company! ….. Now that’s a thought.

    In order for chickens to be transported from NC and Chesapeake, VA they have to cross the Bay Bridge Tunnel. Just think of the huge cost and carbon foot print Tyson & Perdue are racking up as well as the possibility of transporting disease onto the Peninsula.

    I’m far from being finished with the selfishness and stupidity of Perdue & Tyson’s grand plan! Stay Tuned……


  4. Reid Phifer said:

    Big money, from big meat companies paying the best lobbyist have brought this Gennie from his lamp. What integrators have wished for is what they have always gotten. The thing most tax paying citizens do not realize is pacification of farming integrators comes at their expense. The inability of farmers to make payments has never concerned banks because they have backing of federal money. Lending large amounts of money to build poultry growout facilities based on a written document (contract), that is not worth the paper is was written on should by all rights be a criminal offense. These are the very things being brought to the forefront of banking business now. Times have gotten very difficult in today’s economy forcing government agencies to take a closer look at America’s banking business. However, banks are still lending money to people who wish to become poultry farmers based on nothing but a contract not worth the paper it is written on.


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