Local News

Proposed Cumberland chicken plant worries nearby residents

Posted August 7

— Opposition is mounting to the prospect of a chicken processing plant in Cumberland County.

Sanderson Farms is looking at building a plant in Cedar Creek Business Center, a county-owned, 480-acre industrial park off Cedar Creek Road east of Interstate 95. Proponents note that the plant would bring 1,000 jobs to the area.

"If it's going to create jobs and give people work, that's a plus," said Adam Schloendorn, who lives about a half-mile from the proposed plant site.

Other nearby residents see mainly the minuses, however. They gathered Thursday night at Judson Baptist Church, at 505 Judson Church Road.

Hunter Evans, who has a farm, said he is concerned about the millions of gallons of water a day the plant will need to operate.

"That same amount is sprayed into fields adjacent or down the road or in the vicinity or proximity of the plant," Evans said.

He also worries about the 500 chicken houses needed to supply the plant. Sanderson plans to contract with 80 chicken farms in a five-county area.

"It'll be a lot of waste that's going to be going into the agricultural fields," he said. "It's going to provide runoff into not only the Cape Fear River basin but into the Neuse River basin."

Chris Bostock, a local businessman and former chairman of the Cumberland Economic Development Alliance, said the chicken houses would be closer to Sanderson's feed mill in Kinston.

"It's unlikely that any of those chicken houses would be in Cumberland County," Bostock said.

The chicken plant is about local jobs, he said, which is a good thing.

"Our economy is driven by the military. That's a very good thing, but we need to diversify our economy, and this would be a critical step to that," Bostock said.

Two years ago, intense opposition from residents prompted Sanderson to drop plans for a processing plant in Nash County.

Mississippi-based Sanderson is the third-largest chicken processor in the U.S. Company officials said a decision on whether to build in Cumberland County likely won't come before October.

11 Comments

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  • itsyoureternalsoul Aug 8, 11:47 a.m.

    We sure did cry when the plant left our town(s). It employed so many people...

  • Reformed Liberal Aug 8, 11:45 a.m.

    I like chicken! Bring it on!

  • 678devilish Aug 8, 11:45 a.m.

    Gee, we have had two poultry plants in our towns and it gave many people jobs. Why don't certain people want people to work? They would not do this kind of work, but be asured there many people that will.

  • Aug 8, 10:23 a.m.

    Ahh, a Mississippi company. No worries there at all. They're 50th and proud of it. Let's help make NC the new Mississippi.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 8, 10:09 a.m.

    I would think having a "chicken plant" in Business Center would really discourage other businesses from investing there. Think about it if your looking for a place to build for say your expanding tech company are you going to build it beside to a chicken factory?

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 8, 10:03 a.m.

    One of the worst reports ever presented on WRAL. You reporter fails to mention the numerous EPA... View More

    — Posted by soitt

    "No mention of the effect of the polluted runoff from the slaughter house on the Cape Fear River."

    Ah, did you even read the article?

    From the article:
    "It'll be a lot of waste that's going to be going into the agricultural fields," he said. "It's going to provide runoff into not only the Cape Fear River basin but into the Neuse River basin."

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 8, 10:00 a.m.

    Chicken factory. Poor birds, they are living creatures don't they know.

  • WRAL + GOLO = Bias News Aug 8, 9:46 a.m.

    You people scream for not jobs, yet when an opportunity arises, you scream foul (fowl). Do you want the jobs or not? Then sit down and shut up.

  • soitt Aug 8, 9:45 a.m.

    One of the worst reports ever presented on WRAL. You reporter fails to mention the numerous EPA violations of Sanderson Farms in other states. No mention of the effect of the polluted runoff from the slaughter house on the Cape Fear River. No mention of the effect on the water supply for downstream cities like Wilmington. No mention of the thousands of tons of chicken manure that will be piled up all over Cumberland County. WRAL fails to mention the fact that millions of gallons of water will be pumped out of the ground causing the water table to be lowered. The lowered water table will cause local wells to dry up. Not a word about the hundreds of Sanderson Farms trucks that will choke the roads littering feathers and dead chicken carcasses. No mention of the hundreds of itinerant workers that will be drawn to the low pay, dangerous jobs offered by Sanderson Farms. The report fails to mention the detrimental impact the slaughterhouse will have on attracting other industries t

  • wasone Aug 8, 8:14 a.m.

    This new plant will surely bring new jobs to the area, but no high tech jobs. This plant will need chickens and the chicken houses will increase. Along with that comes more trucks hauling birds for processing, feathers littering the road side and the awful smell of dead turkey parts being hauled to the rendering plant. Also the CEO, CFO and other high paying position people will not live near the plant. I know, I live with it each day

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