Background

 

In the middle of June 2014 several local landowners were approached by a third party interested in purchasing large tracts of land in the Cedar Creek community in Cumberland County.

 

This person would not offer any details about why they wanted the land or who was interested in buying it.

 

This aroused curiosity, and some of those approached started asking questions. With a little research details began emerging. It turned out the anonymous buyer was Sanderson Farms, a large chicken processor who in considering locating in Fayetteville, and if they do locate here they will need 660 acres of land in the Cedar Creek community to spray 1.24 million gallons of treated waste water every day.While our elected representatives were aware of Sanderson's intentions and had even made a trip to Kinston to view the plant there they had not seen fit to bring any of this to the attention of those who will be most affected by the potential slaughterhouse. Since our elected representatives were not forthcoming with information, we reached out to someone who had a lot of experience to with Sanderson Farms, this led us to Fayetteville native Derb Carter

 

 Derb Carter is the senior attorney and Director of the NC Offices of the Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill. He directs the law and policy work of two SELC offices with 22 attorneys.

 

Mr. Carter gained a lot of knowledge about Sanderson Farms and how this company works when he was approached by the City of Wilson NC to help that city keep Sanderson out of their area and away from their watershed."We have worked with a lot of these things. There are some folks in Raleigh who think they are a lot smarter than you are, and they decide what they think your community wants and they put a deal together, as far as they can get it behind closed doors." - Derb S CarterFayetteville native and Director Southern Envronmental Law Center - Chapel Hill Office 

 

With the help of Mr Carter and many other including Larry Baldwin the NC Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) coordinator, and Attorney Clark Wright they were able to help Wilson succeed in fending off Sanderson Farms.

 

Upon learning that Wilson was successful in keeping Sanderson out of their area, Mayor Bruce Rose was quoted in the newspaper: ”The city committed a lot of money on this and we fought hard for this,” . . . “It’s well worth every penny we spent to keep that company out of our community. Wilson is a great place to live and we certainly didn’t want anyone to come in to destroy our way of life.”

 

Of course, not many people would choose to live near a chicken processing plant for a variety of reasons, but you might expect the economic development council of a city to support a business locating in their town and bringing 1100 new jobs. However this was not the case. The City of Wilson Economic Development Council was “100%” against Sanderson Farms locating in their community as well.  This was a concern as well, since we do want to see Cumberland County continue to grow and prosper.

 

Concerned homeowners were unable to get any information at all from their elected representatives despite the fact the most of the Cumberland County Commissioner as well as the Fayetteville City Council took the time to go to Kinston to tour Sanderson/s Facility there.

 

With no information from our elected representative a small meeting of local land owners was held in July to find answers.  Four weeks later we were able to pack Judson Baptist Church to standing room only in both the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Several speakers were invited to help us understand the other issues involved besides the primary focus of our commissioners here in Cumberland County which seems to be jobs, even if they are at the expense of quality of water, quality of life, and potential future county growth not to mention home values."The city committed a lot of money on this and we fought hard for this,” Rose said. "It’s well worth every penny we spent to keep that company out of our community. Wilson is a great place to live and we certainly didn’t want anyone to come in to destroy our way of life.”  - Wilson NC Mayor Bruce Rose after Sanderson Farms announced their decision to abandon plans for a slaughter house in Nash County

 

More is At Risk Than Just Cumberland County


If you live anywhere in Cumberland County or neighboring counties you should be interested in learning about ALL of the issues that come with bringing a slaughter house that will process 1.25 million chickens each week to this area. There is more to this than just the new jobs Sanderson will bring. The concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs) that will need to provide over 5 million chickens a month will affect several counties between here and Kinston NC where the feed mill is located.

 

We can not simply say just because the odor and litter from these hundreds of houses is not in our own back yard it does not matter. We are all interdependent and clean water is necessary for everyone. Is it okay to pollute the drinking water as long as we try to keep our water intake acceptable? Every one of us at one time or another has had a neighbor who's dog used our lawn as a toilet. Did you appreciate it?  What kind of municipal neighbors do we want to be to those downstream of all the chicken litter this plant will bring? This is a much more serious issue than a little dog pile on the lawn. There are 800,000 people that depend on the Cape Fear River watershed for their drinking water, recreation, fish, and seafood as far down as Wilmington.

 

Please read the various sections of this website to see the tremendous problems that these chicken houses cause. 

Remember, the City of Wilson faced this same issue with Sanderson Farms, and they were able to successfully fend them off. We too can be successful if we stay focused, organized and involved. If you are concerned about our community we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and join in with your neighbors and friends to discuss this issue.

 

This site will be updated continually as the situation changes. We will do our best to keep everyone up to date with efforts to resist Sanderson Farms as well as let everyone know how they can get involved.