The poultry industry is putting its best foot forward April 18 as members of the news media tour the Sanderson Farms chicken complex in Kinston, N.C.

Media representatives from 30 different news outlets will get a look at one of the nation's broiler production and processing operations, as they visit a broiler farm and the hatchery and processing plant at Sanderson's Kinston complex.

The tour is part of the Chicken Media Summit, which got under way Wednesday with a reception and dinner attended by representatives of the chicken industry and the media.

National Chicken Council Chairman Bill Lovette of Pilgrim's Inc. addressed media members, saying, "We are opening up these facilities to you (in the tour) so that you and your readers and listeners can see and understand what we are doing as an industry and how we are doing it.

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"I know that your readers and your listeners and your viewers are very interested in where their food comes from. They want to know how animals are raised, and they have a lot of questions about modern agriculture. We want to be part of trying to garner the understanding and help answer some of those questions. So that is why we are taking the approach that we are."

USPOULTRY board member Bill Morris of Morris and Associates reminded the group of the poultry industry's economic importance, saying the industry generates more than 1 million jobs annually with an overall economic impact of $205 billion.

The Chicken Media Summit is sponsored by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.