Skip to main content

What Sustainability Means to Chicken Farmers

Did you know that the environmental impact of chicken production has decreased by 50% since 1965? The decrease in environmental impact has gone hand-in-hand with improving bird health and welfare. Through continuous innovation and by ensuring the best possible bird health, the chicken industry has been able to significantly reduce the use of water, farmland, electricity, natural gases, and other valuable resources.

We recently had a chance to meet four chicken farmers and find out how they are minimizing the environmental impact of their farms by using innovative technology and sustainable farming practices.

See sustainable chicken farming in action and learn what sustainability means to chicken farmers.

As you can see, sustainability and environmental stewardship are essential to running a successful chicken farm that can be passed down to future generations. For this reason, Terry Baker, Janice Vickers, Rachel Rhodes, Michelle Chesnik – and chicken farmers across America – continuously implement new technology and sustainable farming practices, such as…

  • Installing solar panels
  • Switching to LED bulbs, which can create a 20-30% savings in energy
  • Recycling poultry litter as fertilizer
  • Monitoring ammonia levels in the houses
  • Saving water by using nipple watering system that only provides water when necessary
  • Installing new tunnel fans and cooling pads to help recycle water and generate efficient cooling in the houses
  • Installing heavy use areas, where debris can collect and be composted
  • Planting vegetative buffers, which absorb runoff and nutrients, and allow rain to run into a grass buffer to be absorbed by plants

There is a lot of pride in sustainable farming that helps to feed families across America, as Michelle notes, “It’s the pride of knowing that you’re successful at what you’re doing. At the end of the day, at the end of the flock, you have produced a healthy food product. That in itself is an accomplishment. Help feed the world and you’ve done it responsibly and sustainably. That’s a big thing.”

Interested in learning more about broiler chicken production? Experience the entire life of a broiler chicken from hatchery to the farm to processing in our virtual reality series.

Meet the author, Tom Super, Senior Vice President of Communications at the National Chicken Council.

Tom Super, Senior Vice President of Communications

Super brings 16 years of combined experience in strategic communications, public policy, politics and meat and poultry issues management to NCC’s senior management team.  He is responsible for day-to-day media relations, media outreach, social media management and strategic communications planning to supplement the National Chicken Council’s legislative, regulatory and public affairs efforts.

Prior to his joining the National Chicken Council, Super spent three and a half years at the American Meat Institute, most recently as vice president of public affairs.  He previously spent six years at Greener and Hook LLC, a Washington-based strategic communications consulting firm where his focus was on planning and executing communications strategies and delivering strategic communications and media relations counsel to corporations, trade associations, ad-hoc organizations, non-profits and political candidates at the local, state and federal levels. Super began his career in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill  as a press assistant and legislative correspondent for U.S. Senator John W. Warner (R-Va.).

A graduate of Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, Va., Super earned his bachelor of arts degree in public policy.