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Pilgrims Pride contract growers awarded for environmental excellence

Three contract growers for Pilgrim's Pride Corporation were honored last week by the US Poultry & Egg Association for environmental excellence at their family-owned farms.

The awards were presented at the annual International Poultry Exposition show in Atlanta. It marks the first time in the history of the award that three regional winners grow for the same company.

US Poultry & Egg Association's Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award recognises exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.

Applicants were rated in several categories, including dry litter or liquid manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques and participation in education or outreach programs. Applications were reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies, and state trade associations in selecting national winners. Each winner received a $1,000 check.

The three winning contract growers from Pilgrim's were Todd and Rodney Huneycutt, owners of Huneycutt Brothers' Family Farm in Albemarle, NC. Their farm, which supplies the Pilgrim's plant in Marshville, NC, includes six poultry houses on 2,200 acres. Carole and Tim Shoemaker, owners of Shoemaker Farm in Burlington, WV. The farm is a third generation, family-run operation that includes two broiler houses on 172 acres. Bud Shaver Jr., of Lucky Charm Farms in Weyers Cave, Virginia. The farm is composed of 1,755 acres with three broiler chicken houses.

"We are tremendously proud of our contract growers and their focus on environmental best practices," said Walt Shafer, Pilgrim's executive vice president of operations. "These family farmers recognize the importance of being responsible stewards of the environment and promoting sustainability throughout their operations. They are an asset to both our company and our industry."

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