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Sanderson Farms eyes Nash County site

Posted November 8, 2010
Updated November 12, 2010

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— Sanderson Farms has proposed building a chicken processing plant in Nash County that would bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area.

The plant would be located west of the Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport off of N.C. Highway 97.

Faye Daniel, a long-time resident whose property is just down the road from the proposed site, worries the plant would be a bad new neighbor.

“I am very concerned about the pollution, air and water,” Daniel said Monday.

“We just do not find the problems with the industry that the people have their concerns with,” Nash County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis said.

The board recently voted 4 to 3 to rezone the property to allow for the plant.

Some argue the commissioners quietly pushed it through, but Davis said there are limits to what can be disclosed to the public when talking with a private company.

“If the citizens of that particular part of the county will be patient with us, we feel like we can put the majority of their concerns to rest,” Davis said.

“There is really little that can be done (about) the smell, the runoff, the arsenic in the chicken fed that gets in the water,” concerned neighbor Kathy Williamson said.

Williamson said she worries about the impact on the Tar River in her backyard and what that could mean for drinking water supplies downstream in Nash and Wilson counties.

“Once this plant gets here, it’s too late and it’s not worth our future. I know it's 1,100 jobs, but it’s 1,100 low-paying jobs,” she said.

Sanderson Farms eyes Nash County site Citizens concerned about Nash County chicken plant

Davis said careful research shows no potential environment problems, but promises more public hearings before anything is set.

Concerned citizens are planning a rally to protest the proposed plant this weekend.

County leaders expect to hear a final decision about whether the company plans to build the plant in Nash before the end of the year.

48 Comments

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  • pettybabies2002 Nov 11, 7:35 p.m.

    The thing is jcoor10, we were a residential community/agriculture town long before Sanderson. People move to this area b/c they don't want to live in the industrial parts of town. Sanderson needs to go elsewhere.

  • jcoor10 Nov 11, 6:23 p.m.

    you guys are so ignorant, Sanderson Farms along with 95%of the livestock industry doesnt have "Company owned farms" They all have contract growers (farmers) to build the houses. Ever since Pilgrams bankruptys companys have extended contracts to protect farmers from being stuck with a payment with receiving any animals. If you look at the research no company has build a new complex in 10 years other than Sanderson Farms and they have build 3. I bet everyone enjoys eating chicken though, if you dont like the acricultre field go north.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Nov 10, 10:12 a.m.

    If Sanderson is building their own houses, its because the banks won't loan farmers the money because Case Farms and Pilgrims Pride have already pulled contracts on farmers who have mortages on less than 10 year old houses that are not paid for. The farmer and the banks are left holding the bag with empty chicken houses and no contract. What bank or farmer in their right mind would subject themself to this unpayable debt?

  • the river rat Nov 9, 4:51 p.m.

    Interesting comment. clickhere. So Sanderson is building their own houses. So you're saying there's really no potential opportunity, good or bad, for local farmers that might would risk going into production for them. That just leaves the minimum wage production jobs. Thanks for the correction.

  • the river rat Nov 9, 4:45 p.m.

    Tyson has had recruiters in South Texas bringing in workers on five year visas for many years. I would not expect Sanderson to be any different. Are they "illegal"? No. Are they local? No. Do the guest workers and their families add an additional layer of stress to the local infrastructure? Absolutely. It's well documented in other locations.

  • clickhere Nov 9, 4:20 p.m.

    hmmm, you "get real" and "get serious" folks must live in the city. and as far as "contract farmers", Sanderson is building it's own houses, so they may be hiring operators, but I doubt it. CalMaine and Goldsboro Milling, etc used to use contract houses, but my understanding from one of the construction crews putting up the houses is Sanderson owns them so you can forget about feeling sorry for any farmers getting squeezed. The whole eastern part of the state is used to one smell or another - papermills, hog, turkey, chicken, cattle - and many other sections of the country are used to slaughterhouses, stockyards and feedlots. Those that think jobs will automatically go to illegals are talking without knowing anything, Sanderson is a big operation and the feds aren't going to let them bring in illegals, and Sanderson wouldn't knowingly take the chance since they'll be shut down.

  • ncguy Nov 9, 2:39 p.m.

    1,000 jobs and all going to illegals because US citizens wouldn't do this type of work

    I can't stand this kind of comments! i have seen it many times and all i can say is -

    ya i don't know how we did for hundreds of years without them?

    Get a clue, Americans will do that sort of work at a decent wage.
    the only people who profit off illegals are those already making a 6 figure salary.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Nov 9, 2:36 p.m.

    claytontarheel, most of these loans are financed through Farm Credit which require you to mortage your house.

    How many smart business people borrow money to incorporate and mortage their house? Most of these farmers grow chickens to diversify. Few rely soley upon growing chickens and those that have, many have been left bankrupt. The News & Observer did an article a few years ago about this when Pilgrim's Pride was in financial trouble and the article backs up everything I've writtten.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Nov 9, 2:33 p.m.

    sc5561, I'm familiar with that article.

    What happens when someone has to file bankruptsy? Who picks up the tab? It certainly is not Sanderson Farms, Pilgrims Pride, Perdue, Case Farms, etc.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Nov 9, 2:32 p.m.

    keneds, all poultry integrators have a few "favorites" they keep at the top while others who do exactly as they say get treated unfairly.

    Count your blessings. You are one of the lucky few.

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