A few days after we visited Georgie’s farm, she stopped by Carvel Center to give a lecture about the evolution of poultry farming on Delmarva and the challenges that poultry growers face due to negative public perception of the poultry industry.
Every aspect of poultry farming on Delmarva has changed in some way since its inception, from the way the birds are housed, fed and watered to the technology used to monitor temperature, feed and water consumption. The size of the chickens has even changed, with birds having quadrupled in size over the last 70 years.
While these changes have revolutionized the poultry industry, some of them have garnered a negative public perception of the industry. For example, the quadrupling in size of chickens has led some outside the industry to accuse growers of using steroids and growth hormones. In truth, the increased size is due to selective breeding.
Between our visit to Georgie’s farm and her lecture, I feel that I now have a more comprehensive view of the poultry industry and the myriad economic and environmental challenges that growers face, as well as their continual fight against negative public perception.