oster Farmsin Seneca, S.C.,was one of four farms across the United States to receive U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award during the 2019International Production & Processing Expoin Atlanta. U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) sponsors the annual awards in recognition of exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.
Applicants were rated in several categories, including manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques, innovative nutrient management techniques, and participation in education and outreach programs. A team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies and poultry trade associations reviewed applications and conducted farm visits to select semifinalists and the eventual winners for each subregion.
Foster Farms is owned and operated by Stacy Foster, who established the 400-acrepoultry and beef cattle farm in 1998. The family-owned farm raises approximately 3.1 million broilers per year for Fieldale Farms. Foster and his employees strive for excellence in conservation and farm management by implementing various practices on the farm, including a farm-wide “no till” practice, innovative litter management, mortality management and a commitment to participate in continuing education opportunities
.Foster Farms implements a system of litter and mortality management to create fertilizer for the hay fields. The farm has five sheds for litter storage sheds that can stock pile to 2,200 tons of litter. Some of the litter, along with bird carcasses, is layered in concrete blocks that are stacked to create composting bins.
Foster firmly believes in the importance of maintaining environmentally-smart practices and laying the foundation for young American farmers, remarking,“The role and responsibility of the poultry grower in environmental management includes embracing and putting into use environmental practices that have been learned. The role of the poultry farmer in America is to produce excellence. What our farm does today affects tomorrow and our younger generations to come.”
Greg Hinton,vice president of sales for Rose Acre Farms and vice chairman of the USPOULTRY board of directors, presented the 2019Family Farm Environmental Excellence award to Stacy Foster.