This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks is talking agriculture from a spread of angles in this jam packed show. Welcoming farmer Craig Watts to the program in the first segment, he tells Erin his experiences as a producer for Perdue Chicken. He tells Erin that he became a chicken farmer because his parents had been farmers and that when a representative from Perdue came his way touting how lucrative chicken farming might be, he decided to go with it. Being paid via a chicken weight system, Craig relates to Erin his problems with the chicken industry and the lack of respect for the farmer and consumer. Recently, Craig took a bold step and made a video in cooperations with Compassion in World Farming, in which he escorts cameras into his broiler barns revealing chicken leg deformities, ulcerated bellies from barn litter soaked with urine, and chicks too frail to eat or stand. With this in mind, Craig gives Erin his in-depth view of the chicken industry and what’s in store for his and his farm’s future. After the break, Sam Filler, who works with Governor Cuomo in Empire State Development, fills Erin in on the upcoming FOOD+ENTERPRISE events and the big issues surrounding it. Founded in 2013, FOOD+ENTERPRISE is a social impact, mission-driven event dedicated to promoting understanding and collaboration amongst multiple stakeholders – farmers, entrepreneurs, consultants, funders and investors – who aim to finance a better local food system. Sam is participating in a talk entitled “Anatomy of a Deal,” a panel looking at the NYS Brewers and the key players involved in making it a success. Brewers, government leaders, restaurateurs and industry experts plan to weigh in. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.
“The birds are designed to do exactly what they’re doing: stand up, take a bite, sit back down.” [20:55]
“We cant forget our mid-size family farms out here that are carrying a lot of the weight.” [25:15]
—Craig Watts on The Farm Report
“I’m working directly with the trade associations for beer, wine, spirits, and cider to help them better market themselves and really tell the story of about what makes New York State products of high excellence.” [43:40]
—Sam Filler on The Farm Report