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Group pushes for Nash chicken processing center

Posted February 22, 2011
Updated February 28, 2011

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— A group wanting a chicken processing plant to be built in Nash County kicked off a campaign Tuesday that urges support for the project, which could bring thousands of jobs to the area.

Poultry producer Sanderson Farms proposed in November building a chicken processing plant off N.C. Highway 97 in Nash County.

The proposal has sparked concern from residents concerned about property values and air and water pollution, despite Nash County Board of Commissioners voting to rezone the property and research that shows no potential environmental problems.

Skip Carney, with NEW NC Jobs for Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson, says the plant will help, not hurt, the region, which has a 12.23 percent unemployment rate.

In addition to 2,700 positions, including construction jobs, about $100 million would be invested into the struggling region, Carney said.

The group of business leaders launched TV commercials and a website aimed at critics, including the city of Wilson, which has filed a lawsuit to stop the plant over concerns about ground water.

“(It’s) to give voice to the more than 13,000 people in the region that are out of work and need these jobs and to the many, many people who agree that Sanderson Farms will be good for Nash, Wilson and Edgecombe counties,” Carney said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • oleguy Feb 23, 2011

    RT Rat, Just a guess but are you against new EE's in the county.
    Tarheal and Smithfield plant seem to be getting along just fine, Lots of workers, with new cars, and the local stores look busy, Its called progress,,,

  • superman Feb 23, 2011

    Thousands of people are out of work in this country and people are concered about the smell and whatever. I am retired and I would welcome the plant even if it was close to my home in order to give jobs to people. Whatever happened to the American way of helping each other? So many people today are so self-centered and selfish. If they lost their job that might change their thinking.

  • elainaworrell Feb 23, 2011

    Heck, Sanderson Farms is not even here yet, but just look at how much it is helping the Wilson Times newspaper. If it wasn't for Sanderson Farms, Wilson could only write about rising crime, high unemployment and a mall that is all but dead. I could think of a lot of things Wilson could spend that million dollars. The residents of Wilson should be outraged about this whole dispute. People still have not got over how Wilson stole land from Nash Co. and Johnston Co. Nash Co. needs Sanderson Farms, so just leave them alone and worry about Wilson. It has a lot of problems.

  • RM24 Feb 23, 2011

    If they were not guaranteed it for 2 YEARS then maybe they would go back to work? And "river rat" you must have one of them BIG NICE houses you are worried about dropping in value. If you all are so concerned about your county and City of Rocky Mount how about do something to help things and not just keep jobs from coming to the area. I am sure you all live in a nice house, and are very comfortable outside of the city where you dont have to see all the business STILL CLOSING and SHUTTING DOWN. HAVE you noticed that currently in ROCKY MOUNT you have a better chance of being a VICTIM of a VIOLENT CRIME than in DURHAM NC? Nash Co is far from a where it NEEDS to be. And yes I am smart enough that Sanderson Farms is not going to solve all these problems either. But I am also smart enough that if everyone that is trying to keep this plant away would spend that energy on HELPING real PROBLEMS then things would definitely IMPROVE. But u dont care about real problems. You have all you nd

  • 6079 SMITH W Feb 23, 2011

    Good point, atom ant......but who says they will give up their welfare checks and food stamps? Both of these are legal for American citizens, which their children legally qualify for AS American citizens. Multiply that $213.00 a week by the number of adults living in one house, and you're talking pretty good money there, sir....with ten working adults in a household, that's better than two thousand a WEEK. Is there really any wonder America is a beacon for those who seek "A more abundant life"? ;)

  • atom_ant Feb 22, 2011

    Let's say for example a potential employee of Sanderson Farms lives in Tarboro ,where unemployment is around 20%.

    The potential employee will drive 30 miles one way to work at this plant, or 60 miles round trip a day.

    If this potential employee has a car that gets 18 miles/gallon, then he will use 3.333 gallons of gas a day to get to work, or 16.6 gallons of a gas a week.

    16.6 gallons of gas at $3.50/gallon equals $59.00 a week in gas, just to get to and from work.

    A potential employee will start at $8.50/hr at 40 hrs a week equals $340.00 minus 20% for taxes/benefits equals $272.00 a week take home pay. Then, subtract the $59.00 a week in gas to get to/from work equals a grand total of $213.00 a week take home pay.

    So where are all the people who would trade a welfare check and food stamps for a job where you work like a dog 40hrs/week and only bring home $213.00? You don't know? Give up? They live in migrant camps about 8 miles west of the proposed site...

  • the river rat Feb 22, 2011

    The overall quality of life for residents anywhere near the slaughter plant, hatchery or one of the CAFOs will be adversely affected.
    Of course they will be adversely affected by these operations. To deny this is ludicrous.

  • the river rat Feb 22, 2011

    The local area near the slaughter plant could be plagued with odor problems.
    True. Some will tell you that's not a valid concern, but perhaps they should talk with the folks in Timberville VA:
    Sept. 16 2010: TIMBERVILLE, Va. (AP) - Regulators are looking into pungent odors that continue to emanate from a Pilgrim's Pride poultry processing plant, despite the installation of equipment to mitigate the smells.
    Keith Fowler with the Virginia Department Environmental Quality told the Daily News-Record that the agency plans to determine by Friday what action it can take to address the problem.
    Timberville officials requested the investigation.
    Town Manager Austin Garber said Wednesday that the smell has been unbearable for the past couple days.

  • the river rat Feb 22, 2011

    The slaughter plant, hatchery and CAFOs would have a negative impact on area property values.
    True. Studies by both universities and private firms show clear patterns of substantial losses in residential property values up to 3 miles from the source.
    The local area near any one of the CAFOs will see an increase in flies and problems with foul odors.
    True. Here's some indisputable facts: Chicken litter breeds flies. Thousands of chickens will die during the growing phase at each CAFO. Decaying chickens smell bad. Burning of dead chickens smells bad. Stockpiled or broadcast litter smells bad. Those advocating otherwise are either uninformed or untruthful.

  • the river rat Feb 22, 2011

    The slaughter plant would have a very high employee turnover rate compared to other industries.
    True. The poultry slaughter industry is very secretive with their employee turnover data but reliable sources indicate rates averaging near 50% per year with some locations over 80%.
    A substantial portion of the slaughter plant’s production workers would inevitably be guest workers.
    True. This is well documented in other places. See this quote from the Wikipedia site for Laurel MS, home of Sanderson Farms:
    “There has been a steady influx of Hispanic migrant labor in the last few years, most of them being employed at Howard Industries, Sanderson Farms and independent labor. Companies in the area tend to recruit foreign workers due to the benefits of the federal government subsidizing their cost for training of those on worker visas. Those on visas also tend to be paid substantially less. There has been some debate regarding the legal status of the majority of these workers”