John Starkey, President of the US Poultry and Egg Association, co-sponsor of the 2013 Chicken Media summit…recaps the objective of the summit and the success of showing the business from the inside out to members of the mainstream media with Southern Farm Network’s Bob Midles from New Bern, North Carolina:
“There are two factors that I think are important. All of us want to be transparent in our business. That is important for our customers. The second factor is that we are proud of what we do. We produce a safe, wholesome and nutritious product at a very affordable cost. So why wouldn’t we want to tell our story?
I think the media appreciated the opportunity to see a part of the food chain they hadn’t seen before. And they got to hear from the young man whose great-great grandfather started the farm. They appreciated the openness and the transparency.
Historically the food media seminar, the predecessor of this, tends to go to an interesting and novel location and New Bern seems to fit that description.
I hope the media does take a second look when they hear terms like factory farm, things they know now are not true. All the way up through the processing side and the animal welfare and employee safety, all of those things were on display and I think that the media that was here will keep all of that in the back of their minds and respond accordingly.
In agriculture we are very guilty of preaching to the converted. We have to share that and this kind of event helps us to do that.”