See For Yourself 2015: Perdue Farms

Day 2- Seeing the Whole Poultry Process

Georgia is the largest producer of poultry in the U.S. This fact is significant for soybean farmers because the majority of their product is used to feed chickens, turkeys and other types of poultry.

This fact is also significant for our South Dakota soybean farmers who are attending the See For Yourself tour to Atlanta, Ga., and New Orleans this week.

Perdue Farms

On Tuesday, the group traveled to a Perdue Farms facility in Perry, Ga. Perdue Farms is a chicken processing company based in Salisbury, Md. It is the third largest American producer of broilers. The Georgia operation includes a processing plant, garage, water treatment facility, live haul area and energy department.

From raw meat to breading and bagging, the processing plant tour provided the farmers with a chance to see how chicken becomes a meal on our table. The group now has a better understanding of the important role soybeans play in feeding the food we eat.

Dr. David Swayne

Continuing with the poultry theme and topping off the day was a meeting with USDA Southeast Poultry Research Lab (SPRL)Veterinarian, Dr. David Swayne.

See for Yourself participants with USAPEEC staff and Dr. Swayne.

The five main goals of the SPRL are: 1) to prevent, reduce or eliminate losses, 2) create better and more consistent testing, 3) improve vaccines and vaccination methods, 4) understand viruses better in relationship to wild vs. domesticated poultry, 5) improve and understand the genetic and pathobiological basis of viruses.

Much of Dr. Swayne‘s research focuses on issues that affect poultry trade and exports, primarily avian influenza along with other viruses and diseases. South Dakota Soybean funds this research through checkoff dollars. It is important because, in the end, these issues affect soybean farmers’ bottom line.

One significant piece of research conducted by Dr. Swayne and his colleagues was to prove that if poultry is cooked to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, any health risks from eating it are extremely low. This information is very important to persuade countries like Mongolia and New Zealand to lift their bans on poultry exports from the U.S. This also helps prevent other countries from setting future bans related to this topic.

Check back to our blog tomorrow to see what the group learned while at the Port Of New Orleans.