Sanderson Farms proposal – separating fact from fiction

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There have been significant distortions of fact surrounding the potential construction of a poultry processing facility in Nash County. The construction of a facility like the one Sanderson Farms proposes would create an economic boost for the area while providing much needed jobs for the local work force. Unfortunately, these distortions by a few seriously threaten a tremendous economic opportunity for our citizens. The employment benefit of 1,100 jobs would extend beyond the Nash County area to include a multi-county labor shed of eager job seekers. The Twin County area has a current unemployment rate of 11.8 percent and Wilson has a rate of 11.1 percent (September 2010). According to figures from the Employment Security Commission there are approximately 3,500 applicants currently active with experience in assembly line, food or tobacco processing, or related experience. It is highly likely that the majority of these applicants would possess the types of skills and/or background required by Sanderson Farms.

There have been misleading communications regarding the rumored low wages that this company would be paying, when the fact is that the projected average weekly wage would be $501. Additionally the potential workers at this facility would receive 75 percent of their individual and/or family health insurance coverage paid by the company. Also, having a poultry processing plant in the area would increase economic opportunities for farmers in Nash and several surrounding counties. Considering that 2010 was a very disappointing year for tobacco, some farmers will have an opportunity for greater profitability with poultry farming with an estimated $28 million in annual contract payments to farmers pumped into the regional economy.

This community has an obligation to work to create fair paying jobs with health insurance. The Twin Counties region is always being asked to create jobs for the former textile workers of our area. Sanderson Farms offers the potential to create those jobs in our area to assist those displaced workers with new opportunities.

Opponents of the project have made many misleading comments as to the environmental impact and safety of this proposed project. The truth is the potential processing plant and hatchery sites would be located in the Tar River protected watershed. This watershed allows for these agricultural and industrial uses but requires that on-site measures be constructed to control runoff and reduce nutrients. The irrigation/spray fields would be located in the Toisnot watershed which drains into Wilson County. The processed water from the facility would be fully treated by an on-site wastewater plant and disinfection station, which would remove nutrients and contaminants to levels not detrimental to the streams, wells or fields in the surrounding area. Furthermore, nutrients in the wastewater applied to the spray fields may not exceed the agronomic rates of the crops. Crops will be cultivated in the spray fields year-round and will ultimately be harvested.

Land treatment systems such as this are commonly used. These irrigated spray fields act as a living filter to remove remaining nutrients so that the finished water filtered through the soil will meet or exceed drinking water standards. The proposed wastewater plant and land treatment systems must be permitted and monitored by the N.C. Department of Environment of Natural Resources and operated under Title 15A, Subchapter 2T “Waste not Discharged to Surface Waters” of the North Carolina Administrative Code.

The proposed facility would use approximately 1 million to 1.2 million gallons of water per day in processing and wash-down operations. The water will be supplied by the city of Rocky Mount via a network of waterlines owned and operated by Nash County and potentially augmented by on-site wells. The city of Rocky Mount water resources staff has carefully evaluated the needs of the industry and is confident that sufficient water resources are available to meet the industrial demands without adversely affecting existing customers. The recent connections to the city of Wilson were installed for exceptional drought circumstances, such as the statewide drought in 2007, and were not part of evaluating daily water needs of the industry and other customers.

There have been comments made concerning the potential for odor associated with the processing plant and spray fields. The fact is, there is no detectable odor outside of the processing plant, hatchery or spray field locations. The only emissions from the proposed plant would be steam from water heating boilers. The on-site wastewater treatment plant would include a lagoon covered with a high density floating blanket to trap the gas byproducts and route them back into the processing facility to be recycled for fuel use or burned off by a flare. Any water released at the spray fields already would have been fully treated, eliminating any odors.

Nash County citizens have to realize that if high unemployment persists in the Twin Counties and adjoining communities, there will be an increase in social problems which leads to a strain on schools, hospitals, increased crime and increased drug use. Nash County citizens, I urge you to share the facts. Don’t buy in to the rumor mill, and you will assist in providing 1,100 jobs to your neighbors, your friends and family, your fellow worshipers, your community.

Frank Harrison

Chairman

Carolinas Gateway Partnership

Comments

you econuts just dont want to accept facts

all the bs propaganda yall have produced are a exagerated , sensationalism report in the charlote observer where the poor trials and tribulation of a poultry worker are grandized. she is not a slave laborer. she doesnt have to work there if she doesnt want to. that is at a turkey plant. turkeys are much larger birds, heavier and harder to handle and process than chickens. we have hundreds of thousands of meatcutters and processors that work for food suppliers and grocery stores every day. and the left wing environmental group in texas you sight. neither one is unbiased in their exagerated reporting, if that is what you want to call it.

Seriously?

Are we seriously to believe that YOUR statements are fact or have YOU distorted the facts? Average pay is $501? Maybe average for the whole plant but according to Sanderson, line jobs will start at $8 an hour ($320 a week). And, why don't you tell us what the retention rate is on those jobs? Highly likely that the majority of applicants here would possess the types of skills and/or background required by Sanderson Farms???? Check out the Kinston newspapers. Many folks there are being passed over so that Sanderson can relocate upper management.

Slaughter House Seven

IS THIS THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE SEVEN YOU SPEAK OF ??? Slaughterhouse 7Slaughterhouse 7. Homebrewing on Matadero. Thursday, November 18, 2010. Reruns. Liked this beer so much we drained the keg and put the recipe back in the ... sh7brew.blogspot.com/ - Cached

CHCKENS

EAT MORE BEEF!!! Chickens RULE!!!

I thought there was already

I thought there were already chicken houses in the country. That is the chance you take by living in the country.I applaude an industry that wants to come to nash co.providing badly needed jobs to a depressed area of the state that badly needs more employment. You live in the country you are going to get country living which includes farming,slaughter houses,chicken houses,tobacco processing and you got it; poultry processing.If you dont like what the country has to offer you are welcome to move in the city limits where you can deal with another host of "real problems" higher taxes,utilities,and crime. Good luck blocking this plant from coming to Nash Co. during these economic times. Job creation is going to trump anything you can come up with.

ahh but you do not mention WASTE FROM THE CHICKEN BARNS!

There have been comments made concerning the potential for odor associated with the processing plant and spray fields. The fact is, there is no detectable odor outside of the processing plant, hatchery or spray field locations DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE NO SMELL FROM THE CHICKEN HOUSES? Or odor when they clean them out and spray the "fertilizer" in the fields? This is not a rumor.

Yeah!

Spread the lies Mr. Harrison and the conjecture. We don't want facts! Tarriverpaddler knows a lot more than you which is evident by the facts that he stated. Hey, wait, he's just makin up stuff and painting the worse case scenario out of a vivid imagination. Oh, nevermind.

What you didn't say!

With all due respect Mr. Harrison, you seem to have "conveniently" forgotten to mention the 100 plus chicken barns that will essentially be unregulated because there is no longer an ILO statue in Nash Co., thanks to the SLAUGHTER HOUSE SEVEN that will spring up through-out Nash and surrounding counties. All your letter was about how nice the processing plant and hatchery was going to be. How about enlightening us on the rest of the story you "forgot?" Do you really expect other businesses to build next to a 500 foot long chicken barn? How about the residential real estate developers and potential home owners...do you think they will want to risk several million dollars developing property only to have a chicken barn operation next door a year later? You don't tell us how the chicken farmers are going to get rid of the chicken ....waste. I can tell you. It will be spread out accross the neighboring fields on a weekly basis. Makes a really intersting afternoon on your front porch or fall morning with the windows open. Sooner or later the fields will be unable to sustain the continued "fertilizing" and the nitrates will build up to disasterous levels. Look at what has happened in the Chesepeake, VA area. Mr. Harrison, you must think that as long as you promote the good part of the story, that people will forget the bad part. It AINT going to happen. More and more people are going to wake up and see through this fiasco. Rise up people, and vote out the SLAUGHTER HOUSE SEVEN!

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