Poultry Industry Guest Lecture – Sean Michael

Ms. Georgie’s lecture was very interesting, and I learned quite a bit about the chicken industry. First, I was unaware that Sussex County is the number 1 chicken producing county in the whole country until Monday. Not only is the poultry industry massive, but it also has just as big an economic role; for every 1 job in the poultry industry, it creates 7 jobs in other areas. Ms. Georgie taught us about the vertically integrated industry, which is when farmers, who supply the labor, housing, power, etc., are contracted by companies, which supply the feed (the biggest expense), to raise the chickens, which guarantees that farmers will be able to sell their chickens, while the company gets the kind of chicken they want. The myth of genetically modified chickens was debunked in the lecture, and it was explained that it was improvements in genetics, nutrition, housing, and health that contributed to the average chicken’s weight to skyrocket in half a century. Lastly, Ms. Georgie slammed home the message that Agriculture’s number one challenge is its image, and that the future of Ag needs to build a strong image for itself to succeed.

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