Blake Farms of North Carolina, LLC, located in North Wilkesboro,was one of six farms across the United States to receive U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award during the 2020International Production & Processing Expo in 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. Applications were reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies and state poultry associations.
Blake Farms raises broilers for Tyson Foods. The farm has been family owned and operated for three generations, and the family’s emphasis on sustainable farming runs deep. Chad Blake, one of owners of Blake Farms, often reminisces on the words of his grandfather; “Take care of the land and it will take care of you.” This sentiment drives the Blake family’s dedication to environmental stewardship and responsible agriculture and will continue to do so for generations to come.
Part of Chad’s environmental commitment is the implementation of strict litter and nutrient management throughout the operation. Both the farm’s soil and the manure from the poultry houses are tested on an annual basis to ensure that the nutrients in the organic fertilizer are applied in a manner that is of the greatest benefit to both the soil and the crop that will be planted. Blake has implemented field borders, grass waterways, strip cropping, tree planting and a strict no-till policy throughout the farm that allows maximization of crop production while drastically reducing nutrient loss, water runoff and soil erosion.
Blake Farms is heavily invested in the local area, offering the farm as a place of commerce and community for neighbors and friends. There are three greenhouses on the farm where plants and flower sare sold, which often provides an opportunity to talk with customers about the poultry operation. Boy Scout Troops, 4-H groups and educational clubs are regular visitors to the farm, and Blake Farms has also hosted several educational tours on theproperty as well as traveling to local schools to teach classes about sustainable farming and poultry operations. The Blake family also serves on Farm Bureau boards at both the county and state levels, as well as taking time to serve on other community boards like the Voluntary Ag Board, North Carolina Corn Growers Association and local medical and community center boards.
lake Farms is three generations into a tradition of thoughtful and deliberate environmental stewardship and is dedicated to ensuring that those traditions are passed on to the next generation. As farmers, they recognize that their lives and livelihood depend on a healthy environment, and they are uniquely positioned to care for the land and conserve the resources that are vital to their communities. The Blake family has dedicated themselves to their role as environmental stewards, setting an example to others for maintaining a safe and prosperous environment for agriculture.
Mike Levengood, vice president, Chief Animal Care Officer and Farmer Relationship Advocate for Perdue Foods and vice chairman of the USPOULTRY board of directors, presented the award to Chad and Brenda Blake.