Meet Bet, a Chicken Farmer from Georgia
95% of broiler chickens (chickens raised for meat) are raised on family farms. One of those family farms is where Bet, a chicken farmer from Georgia, happens to work. Get to know Bet and find out how she became a chicken farmer, and her thoughts on being a farmer in America.
How did you get into chicken farming?
After moving from the city to my horse farm, which was always a dream of mine, and leaving a landscaping career I had some interest in the chicken farming business. A friend’s father had just been approved for his loan and I asked her if he would talk to me about becoming a chicken farmer. The rest is truly history. I convinced the broiler manager to take a chance on a city girl who had no experience in agricultural business, and daily, I do everything in my power to succeed.
What do you love about chicken farming?
No traffic! After commuting through Atlanta all my adult life I am truly grateful not to have to worry with traffic. It is a true challenge here every day! No day is exactly the same and I never seem to get it all figured out, which is really a lot of fun. The chickens are pretty fun too, I love to watch them, they are fascinating little creatures. You can drop a ribbon on the floor and they will pick it up a run away with it, then fight over it. They are really funny.
What’s your least favorite thing about chicken farming?
Not being able to plan my day out. The first year I thought I could plan my way through every day only to have it all blow up in my face within the first hour, very frustrating! I’m learning to just go with the flow…. not one of my best attributes : )
What’s one thing about chicken farming you wish more people would know?
As a farmer, we work very hard to earn an honest living and we provide for others every day of our lives. There are no holidays, weekends or days off when you have birds in the houses. So you’d think when birds are gone you get time off, but really the answer is no, that’s when the really hard work begins. You just get to relax your mind not thinking at any minute you need to do something for the birds. These birds are my livelihood and it takes a great amount of compassion to raise a good, happy, and healthy bird. As with everything, I’m sure there are bad eggs out there, but most of us are good people who believe in what we do, and we do the very best for our birds.
What’s your favorite chicken dish?
Like all good southern girls, the only answer to that question is fried chicken!