Ag Sec. weighs in on chicken farm con­tro­versy

Sup­ports poul­try ex­pan­sion on Shore

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Fol­low­ing an Agri­cul­tural Day speech at the Ce­cil County Fair, Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Sec­re­tary Joe Barten­felder added his thoughts to the grow­ing con­tro­versy sur­round­ing a pro­posed chicken farm in Zion.

The pro­posal for the or-

FAIR HILL

ganic, open ac­cess poul­try farm, which is still in the per­mit­ting phase, would see four poul­try houses con­structed on Galen and Crys­tal Horst’s 220-acre fam­ily farm on Eng­land Cream­ery Road. The plan calls for rais­ing 200,000 chick­ens in seven-week cy­cles, with the 8-week-old chick­ens then be­ing shipped to Mil­ford, Del., for pro­cess­ing.

In com­ment­ing on the pro­posal, Barten­felder noted that to­day’s poul­try farms are markedly dif­fer­ent than those in the county nearly 40 years ago.

“These newer houses, dis­charge-wise, the odor is less,” Barten­felder said, adding that poul­try ma­nure is less mal­odor­ous than cow ma­nure.

Also, un­be­knownst to most out­side the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity, hu­man and an­i­mal ma­nure is rou­tinely used to fer­til­ize farm fields, he said.

Chick­ens are al­ready be­ing raised at the Meck Farm in Ear­leville for Per­due’s Cole­man Or­ganic la­bel,

CE­CIL WHIG PHO­TOS BY LINDSIE PALMER

(Top left) A rider tries to hang on dur­ing the Painted Pony Cham­pi­onship Rodeo on Wednes­day night at the Ce­cil County Fair. (Top right) A boy watches the Painted Pony Cham­pi­onship Rodeo on Tues­day night at the Ce­cil County Fair. (Bot­tom left) A par­tic­i­pant in the pie-eat­ing con­test at the Ce­cil County Fair tries to swal­low her bite. (Bot­tom right) A girl par­tic­i­pates in the Trac­tor Pedal Pull at the Ce­cil County Fair.

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