I really enjoyed Georgie’s talk about the Delaware poultry industry. Being from Delaware, I knew that Delaware was the #1 state in the country for producing chickens, Sussex county being the #1 county in the country, and that we were 8 hours away from 1/3 of the population. However, what I didn’t know a whole lot about was how the industry came to be. I find it funny that the industry started because Mrs. Steele ordered 50 chicks and got 500 so she decided to grow them and sell them. It’s amazing what one person can do in this world. I also didn’t know that we used to have double story chicken houses to save land; it seems really smart to me being someone who is all about vertical farming. My favorite part of the lecture was the fact that even though Georgie is an organic poultry farm, she is very well educated in all aspects of the industry, so I didn’t have to sit through a lecture about how nonorganic is the worst thing in the world. She does things the way she does them to make money and because it’s what she believes in but she also understands that the other side has benefits too, and I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that. As I’ve been saying, we can’t feed 10 billion people by the year 2050 if we only use organic; we have to have a mix.
Georgie Cartanza came in to our class and gave a guest lecture on her experience in the poultry industry and owning a poultry farm. It was a very informative lecture, I previously knew very little about the poultry farming industry or where our chicken comes from. I was surprised to learn that for every job in the poultry industry, seven are created in the community. She explained to us how she started her poultry farm after working in the industry for many years, and how the poultry company provides a lot of the things she needs to run her farm efficiently. We also were told about the amazing technology that is used to control the ventilation and temperature within the chicken houses. Overall, Georgie gave us a lot of very useful information and gave me a much better perspective of where the chicken that we eat comes from. I was amazed at how it all works.
Our visit to Georgie Cartanza’s organic poultry farm helped to dispel for me some myths about the poultry business. After visiting her farm, I described the size of the chicken houses and the amount of chickens to some of my friends and asked them how many people they thought worked on the farm. Everyone was shocked to hear there were only two other employees. The ability to control feed, water, and temperature through the use of technology was very impressive. I also noticed there did not seem to be any strong odor emanating from the chicken house. Documentaries can often portray the business in a negative light; I will admit I thought these bigger birds had to have been injected with growth hormones which is simply not true. Rather, the improvements in diet, technology, and selective breeding enable farmers like Georgie to produce more meat with fewer birds.
Georgie Cartanza owns a poultry farm in Dover, Delaware, she has four houses, which each hold 37,000 chickens. She has been raising chickens for eleven years, starting out with roasters, but has now switched to organic chickens. Organic chickens have a lot more requirements such as the need for natural light, enrichments, outdoor access, and must be antibiotic free. Organic chicken feed comes from Argentina and Turkey and must be GMO free. No pesticides can be used around the houses, no outside water sources can be in the free range area, and when the chickens develop gut problems only oregano, vinegar, and other organic approved ingredients can be used. It is very clear how much thought Ms. Cartanza put into her farm, the fans on the houses are pointed in different directions so that they don’t blow towards neighboring houses, and she planted trees around the perimeter to create a vegetative buffer to further the air filtering. She switched to organic chickens because she saw the trend increasing and believes all growers will eventually be switched to organic. Ms. Cartanza is very passionate about what she does and has an abundance of knowledge about the poultry industry.
This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to tour an organic poultry operation and to learn all about the ins and outs of it. Georgie Cartanza, the owner and operator of this organic poultry farm, was full of not only knowledge about the industry, but as well as wisdom that I will hold onto as I go throughout my life. I found this field trip especially valuable since I was able to apply what I have learned about the poultry industry, its management and the ever-changing market demands to a real life operation. Georgie explained to us that being an organic farm is a lot more work to keep up to standards as well as costs. The average cost of organic feed is 3x the amount of conventional chicken feed – she attributed this to the fact that organic feed has to be shipped to the United States from other countries due to the lack of profitability for farmers to grow organic feed in the states. Georgie also mentioned that with the ever-changing consumer and market, in a few years, she will have to implement more windows, more shade cloths and more enrichments to each house to satisfy the “organic” standards put in place. The poultry industry is always changing and advancing as technology increases and I’m excited to see where it shifts next. This field trip was a great learning experience and I throughly got a lot out of it. Ms. Cartanza is a very knowledgable woman and I hope I get to encounter with her again.
On September 9th, 2017 we visited Georgie Cartanza’s organic poultry farm. Once we had arrived to the farm, we were embraced by Georgie’s small presentation that consisted of details about her farm as well as the chickens on the farm. We were then able to suit up into protective gear, however, this was to protect the chickens, not us! Once suited up, we walked between houses 3 and 4 where we were able to view how the organic chickens were able to graze, as well as being able to play. To get a full understanding of how chickens are taken care of as they are grown, we were ble to enter a chicken house that consisted of 37,000 thousand chickens! Once being inside, I was able to see that the publics view on how chickens are raised may be off. The chickens are given maximum amounts of food and water, as well as very nice conditions in the house. After seeing life on a organic poultry farm, Georgie then preceded to give advice on how to become successful throughout life and that you get what you give. Overall it was a fantastic trip and learning experience.
On Saturday September 9, our class visited the Organic Poultry Farm of Georgie Cartanza. Upon arrival, we were greeted with excitement and given a little presentation about her farm and other poultry farms in Delaware in general. I always knew that Delaware was huge on chickens, but it was really put into perspective for us. It was very interesting to hear how Georgie worked for more than one industry throughout her career for her own personal reasons, especially since I had never even heard of Mountaire and always heard about Tyson and Perdue. Along with information about Delaware poultry, Georgie provided us with advice for ourselves and our future, and I appreciated that a lot. We then got suited up and headed to the houses (37,000 chickens per house by the way)!
It was amazing to see how different it was inside there than it has been portrayed in the media. I expected lots of noise, chaos, wings flapping, etc. Instead, the chickens were eating, drinking walking around, and it smelled worse outside the houses than it did inside! It was also very funny to see that free range chickens do not even go outside, what with all the fuss over it.
On September 9th the Understanding Today’s Agriculture Class visited Cartanza Farms in Dover, Delaware. This is an organic farm which is run by Georgie Cartanza. On her farm, she has a total of four houses and holds approximately 37,000 birds per house. With her being an organic farm she has certain regulations to follow in order to make the consumers happy along with the chickens. Georgie has given her bird’s access to food, outdoor areas with toys and water whenever they please; in their food, there are no steroids or hormones to please the consumers who do not want anything to help “enhance” the growth and development of the chicken. On the other hand with Georgie not being able to feed her flocks the proper medicines (Antibiotics). Since that technically is a steroid she can not help her birds fight off sickness. This is the one major problem with having the birds on no enhancements. Despite the birds being “natural” or “healthier” with the medicines given to them, they will have to be kept extra healthy. This can be a challenge for Georgie and her farm because if one flock get sick or begins an illness this can damage the incoming flocks along with her profit. Consumers, who want their birds to be steroid/antibiotic free, in the case that the bird does end up being sick, is it truly the proper thing to let the suffer Along with infecting the rest of the flock? Georgie has gone above and beyond for supporting her family and farm. I find this to be inspirational and such a strong role model in the Agricultural Field. She has definitely influenced me and my perspective on organic farms!