“Three Clucks for Agriculture!” – Celebrating National Agriculture Day
Today is National Agriculture Day, and we have many reasons to celebrate!
The United States of America has the safest, most affordable and bountiful food supply in the world and we have the American agricultural system to thank for it.
From the farm to your table, farmers, merchandisers, inspectors, truck drivers, grocery store clerks and more play a vital role in providing the food we depend on each and every day. National Agriculture Day marks a nationwide effort to tell the story of American agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us. To tell the story of American chicken farming on National Agriculture Day, we’re sharing how chicken goes from farm to table.
WORKING TOGETHER: FROM FARM TO TABLE
When it comes to getting chicken from the farm to your table, there are many stops and players involved. From the chicken breeders to the farmers to the truck drivers– everyone in the broiler chicken industry works together in a symbiotic relationship known as “vertical integration.”
Chickens begin their life in hatcheries, where fertilized eggs (not table eggs) are incubated and hatch into chickens that are raised for meat. The same day that the chicks hatch, they are transported to local farms.
Take a virtual reality tour of a hatchery
Once situated at the farm, chickens roam, eat, drink and socialize with other chickens. Chickens are raised under the supervision of farmers and veterinarians, who ensure chickens are comfortable, healthy and growing.
Take a virtual reality tour of a broiler chicken farm
When the chickens grow to the ideal weight to be sold for meat (usually 4.5-9 pounds), they are collected and transported for processing.
DOWN THE LINE
The poultry processing line includes trained workers, automated equipment, inspection and testing conducted by the USDA and plant personnel.
Once they arrive at the processing plant, chickens are processed quickly and humanely, thoroughly washed, chilled and inspected by the USDA. Inspectors, who are present in every processing plant, monitor the processing line to ensure the chicken you eat is safe and meets USDA safety standards.
When USDA inspection is complete, chicken can receive the USDA seal for wholesomeness and can be distributed to local grocers and restaurants for purchase.