Delaware Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee honored four poultry producers from Delaware's Sussex County. The awards were presented January 13 during Delaware Ag Week, held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.
Poultry producer Connie Carmean was selected for the 2013 Environmental Stewardship Award because of her efforts to improve water quality and reduce nutrient runoff, according to the Sussex Countian. Carmean, who grows for Mountaire Farms, has raised poultry since she and her late husband built the first two poultry houses in 1986. The farm, now with four poultry houses, now has a capacity of 99,400 birds per flock. As part of her efforts to reduce nutrient runoff and improve water quality, Carmean's farm has a large manure storage structure and channel composter, as well as heavy use pads and a large retention pond to capture and treat runoff. She is certified as a private nutrient handler by the Delaware Nutrient Management Program.
Richard McGinnis, Larry and Mary Ann McAllister, and John and Mary Reed were selected as runners-up.
McGinnis, Dagsboro, is a grower for Amick Farms. His farm has a capacity of 249,000 birds. He has built three manure structures and put heavy use pads at the poultry houses, planted a windbreak of evergreen trees and installed a retention pond to treat runoff.
The McAllisters, Laurel, are growers for Allen Harim Foods. Their farm has a capacity of 67,000 birds. They have built a manure structure and enlarged heavy use pads, and their poultry house area borders tilled cropland that serves as a vegetative buffer to prevent runoff.
The Reeds, Bridgeville, are growers for Perdue Farms. Their operation has a capacity of 67,000 birds. They have heavy use pads, a manure shed, composter and retention pond, and collect stray feathers with a lawnmower equipped with a bagger.
Carmean will receive $1,000, a plaque and a sign for their farm. The runners-up will receive $500, plaques and signs. The awards are supported by Allen Harim Foods, Amick Farms, Mountaire Farms and Perdue Farms.