Farm Sustainability Blog


The consensus is that times have changed in recent years, but our values haven’t. We believe in a world where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Our nation was founded on that principle, and we’ve worked hard to make it a reality as we build a society that values everyone equally. As an agricultural nonprofit organization, we work everyday to make sure those fundamental principles hold true for thousands of family farmers. But we know first hand that our work is far from over.

A Friend to Farmers in All Seasons





Hurricane Matthew has flooded several chicken farms in eastern North Carolina and left many out of power. When disaster strikes like this, farmers face may find themselves facing loss or damage to their home, to their land and essential farm equipment, and a long road to recovery and rebuilding. On top of that, as the flood waters receded chicken and livestock farmers will face another dilemma - they may have lost entire flocks, which can be hundreds of thousands of birds. In these catastrophic loss situations, farmers’ contracts make it clear that even though the companies technically own the birds while they are alive, the farmers themselves have to take on the burden and risk of disposing of the dead bird carcasses in a timely and safe way.

Cleaning Up After Hurricane Matthew: Info for Poultry Growers


On October 13th, the NC Division of Employment Security announced the approval of 20 North Carolina counties for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. The following counties were approved, although more counties may be added at a later date: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Dare, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson. This program is available for individuals who are prevented from working due to the hurricane, including farmers who are prevented from performing their normal tasks due to storm damage. This includes not being able to farm because they are cleaning up damage.

Farmers Eligible for Hurricane Matthew Disaster Unemployment Assistance


On Monday Oct. 10, officials issued a Major Disaster Declaration for several counties in eastern North Carolina as a result of devastating flooding and damage from Hurricane Matthew. Farmers are facing serious crises - from flooded barns to lost crops. If your home and farm were affected by the hurricane, there are resources and federal programs to cover some of your costs. This guide will get you started. Sometimes it can be hard to navigate the different programs available. If you have questions call our offices and press “1” for the farmer hotline: 919-542-1396.

Help After Hurricane Matthew: Disaster Relief for Farmers & Livestock Producers



As Hurricane Matthew bears down on the coast of Florida and the Southeastern US, our thoughts are to everyone bracing for the storm. Here are some important disaster assistance resources that farmers should familiarize themselves with as soon as possible.

Hurricane Matthew: Disaster Assistance for Farms


Ninety-seven percent of the chicken we eat is produced by a farmer under contract with a big chicken company. In 2015, people consumed 112,000,000 metric tons of chicken globally. That’s an unfathomable quantity. So here’s one way to visualize it: That amounts the weight of two-thirds of all the cars on the road today in the United States—in chickens.  

Big Chicken Companies Own or Control Everything Except the Farm, But Why?


Poultry farmers are a major contributor to the statistics on rising debt levels in American farming. The contracts they have with Big Chicken companies are also the premiere model for production contract agriculture, which is spreading across agricultural industries. As other agricultural industries move in this direction, they are systematically exposing more farmers to higher stakes in debt related risks. The current combination of rising farm debt with decreasing farm income means that farmers are facing a financial squeeze, and that should raise serious red flags about the health and sustainability of our agricultural system.

What Debt in Chicken Farming Says About American Agriculture