Why all the NoChickenPlant.com signs?

 

Why do so many homes have NoChickenPlant.com signs? What chicken plant are these signs referring to? If you don't know the background of this issue please CLICK HERE to get up to speed.

 

The proposed Sanderson Farms slaughterhouse would bring 1100 jobs to the county, and since we are strongly opposed to the slaughterhouse locating here many people wonder why are not in favor of more jobs for Cumberland County. We are absolutely NOT against jobs for our county. On the contrary we want our counties economy and job base to continue to grow. We do however have strong reservations about whether these particular jobs are what is best for the county.

 

All jobs are not equal. We think Cumberland County can do better than settling for jobs that are dangerous, dirty and have a history of very high turnover. Yes, these are jobs and yes they pay $11.50 per hour. However they are still some of the worse, least desirable jobs in the country.   For more info on why these jobs are not a good fit for Fayetteville CLICK HERE.

 

The BIG Problem

 

There are many problems, but the main problem is “the loophole”. While it is true that Sanderson can honestly say that they follow the law and meet state regulations for pollution and water quality, what they don't want to discuss is  “the loophole”. In short here is "the loophole";  Sanderson Farms hatches the eggs, they bring the chicks to grow houses where they are fed food from Sanderson’s own feed mill. Then six weeks later the company picks up the broiler chickens and transports them to the slaughterhouse, then the chickens are cleaned, processed and sold to stores. The worse by-product of this whole process is the tons and tons of chicken litter that are produced.


The problem is that Sanderson Farms is not liable at all for any of the chicken litter that these chickens produce. Unlike any other industry in the USA only swine and chicken farmers are not responsible for the pollution created by their industry. According to Sanderson Farms Director of Development Pic Billingsley a plant like this will require 500 chicken houses in a four-or-five county area “to be built in and around Cumberland County”. However, once he saw the opposition to the chicken houses in our area he changed his story about where they would be located, now saying that the chicken houses will be nearer to Kinston. It is hard to put too much faith in this though in light of his original statements that the houses were “to be built in and around Cumberland County”.

It is our opinion that Sanderson Farms will say whatever they need to say to try to keep our county commissioners from looking to closely at the issues related to chicken litter.

 

The litter that 5 million chickens a month produce is a ecological nightmare. Please, watch some of the very brief (most less than 2 min.) videos in the “experts” section to learn a little more about the problems with this much litter, or if you prefer to read rather than watch video click HERE to read some of the information. This section explains how much litter Sanderson Farms chickens will produce and how that litter can affect our watershed. This is the key problem with the industrial chicken industry.

 

 

The OTHER big Problem - Communication

On one side we have most of our elected officials. They are men and women just like you and I, and like us they want what is best for both Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

 

On the other side we have families, some of whom have lived in the county for generations who feel their quality of life threatened, who are concerned about their water, home values and the direction that Sanderson represents as far as growth for the county.

 

What we both need more than anything right now is communication.

 

For us to be able to do that we need to realize that each of us views the world from a different angle. For instance our commissioners have a large group of constituents to consider, many of them are concerned about the unemployment rate. So naturally that gives them a point of view that welcomes any solution they can find to that problem.

 

From our side we have concerns about our water quality, about our home values and about our quality of life. Like our commissioners we too are concerned about jobs, but we feel that Sanderson is not the best long term solution that issue.

 

Bottom line is this. When we speak with our representatives, remember they are good people. They love Cumberland County just like we do. Perhaps if we show them respect then they will do the same for us.

 

We should also remember that they have been “sold” by a company that has polished its sales presentation by practicing on county governments all over the country. Sanderson has hidden important facts from our officials, and provided them with only selected information. It will be up to us to share all the facts as well as our concerns in a non-confrontational manner so that our officials can make an informed decision on how to vote without the issues being clouded by anger or emotions. We need to share our concerns about:

 

• Runoff from chicken litter spread on local farm fields. Click HERE for more info.

 

• Lower home values for any home near either the slaughter house, or chicken houses.

 

• Odor and flies around grow houses

 

• Jobs that are not going to be good for Fayetteville in the long run. Click HERE for more info.

 

• Many other issues as well. Click HERE.

 

Sanderson has a lot of experience dealing with politicians. They know what to focus on, jobs and taxes, and those are important things, but there is more at stake here than just jobs and taxes. Having been through this before Sanderson is also aware of the issues that kept them out of Wilson, water quality and waste.

Instead of focusing on these issues which are the primary problems, they instead diverted the focus of our county commissioners to other issues. They told our commissioner that people object to the odor of a  chicken slaughter house and feathers everywhere, and then they showed our officials that their plant does not smell bad and there are not feathers everywhere. By making it seem like the primary issues are plant odor, plant wastewater and feathers. They were able to show clearly that they have successfully addressed these problem. By doing this, they deflect attention from the real issues which are water. waste, and home values. Along with better quality growth for Fayetteville.


Sanderson brought our representatives down to the plant they have in Kinston and gave them a very well rehearsed show. Undoubtedly they do have polished presentation that emphasizes all the positives aspects of the company but does not put the spotlight on the other problems associated with their industry, especially the big problem (see above)  Another tactic Sanderson Farms has used in the past is keeping the public as well as anyone involved with the environment out of the picture for as long as possible. In fact this is exactly how they were able to locate a plant in Kinston. If you would like to hear that story CLICK HERE and scroll down to the fifth video. It is only 1:52 long and is told by someone who was directly involved at the time.

 

The reason Sanderson has been doing this so quietly is because they know that people do not want a chicken processing plant and all the issues that come with it. This is they problem they faced in Wilson.  In 2010-2012 The City of Wilson spent over one million dollars fighting to keep Sanderson Farms out of their area. The Mayor of Wilson and all the county commissioners looked at ALL the facts, and realized that even though Sanderson Farms would have brought 1100 jobs to their area it was still a bad deal. Wilson spent two years trying to keep them out before Sanderson finally gave up and built elsewhere

 

The good news is that unlike the City of Wilson we do not have to spend a million dollars to keep Sanderson out of Fayetteville. All our county commissioners need to do is agree not sell our Cedar Creek Business Park to the Sanderson to build a slaughter house. This will not happen unless our commissioners realize that the drawbacks related to Sanderson Farms locating here offset the advantages.

 

There definitely is a risk to our environment there is no question about that. How great that risk is may be a matter of debate. Wouldn’t it make sense for our elected officials to, at the very least. hear from experts on both sides of the issue?  Given the potential long-term impacts it would be irresponsible of the Cumberland County Commissioners to continue forward without studying all aspects of this issue. Particularly since the state does an terrible job regulating, or even monitoring air and water pollution from industrial poultry operations.

 

What can you do?

 

First an foremost we need to let our officials know how we feel. We need to let them know that with a project that has the potential impact that this one would have, it is necessary for there to be an open public forum to discuss all the issues. Let them know that we don’t appreciate them deciding things that will potentially affect our home values, our water quality and the future growth of Fayetteville without including those most affected in the process.

 

 • Call or write you elected officials! CLICK HERE for contact information for all of them. Be polite and respectful!

 

 • Be sure to attend ALL meetings of the Cumberland County commissioners and Fayetteville City Council. This will take effort on our part,  but it is the only way our officials can really know we are serious.

 

 • Read through all of this site and get thoroughly familiar with the issues

 

 • Talk to your neighbors and friends, help get them involved

 

 •ᅠFollow us and post on FACEBOOK - It helps a lot if you can share posts. Sharing greatly increases the number of people aware of this issue.

 

 • Check back on this site in the LATEST NEWS section regularly for updates and notifications of meeting and other news.