Three Sanderson Farms family farmers in Texas, Mississippi and North Carolina have been recognized by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's Family Farm Environmental Excellence Awards at the International Production & Processing Expo. The awards are given annually to recognize exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.
Award applicants were rated in several categories including litter management, nutrient management, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques and participation in education or outreach programs. While selecting national winners and finalists for the competition, applications were reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies and poultry associations.
Sanderson Farms family farmers, Donald and Danielle Urbanovsky, were selected as the winner of the Southwest region. Growing breeder chickens for the company's Bryan, Texas production division, Urbanovsky Farms has over six years of experience in poultry farming and takes very seriously their responsibility to environmental sustainability.
"As a grower, it is our responsibility to provide safe and healthy poultry for consumers," said Donald Urbanovsky. "We also must be aware of global food safety and economic sustainability by operating with transparency, educating others and providing environmental benefits."
Winners representing the remaining four geographic regions in the U.S. include the Mid-Atlantic region winner, the Wolfepack Farm of Harrisonburg, Virginia; the South Central region winner, the Dalen Bell Farm of Tuscumbia, Missouri; the Southeast region winner, the Infinity Ranch of Lamar, Arkansas; and the State Poultry Association winner, the Green Ridge Family Farm of Weldon, Iowa.
In addition to the five award winners chosen from each geographic region, the association also nominated five finalists in their competition who received honorable mentions. Two of those five finalists were Sanderson Farms family farmers, representing the states of Mississippi and North Carolina.
Earning the finalist recognition for the Mid-Atlantic region was Sanderson Farms family farmers, Tyler and Janna Bass, who own and operate Crane Creek Farms in Clinton, North Carolina. Growing broiler chickens for the past eight years, the Bass family is passionate about farming, including growing hogs, cows and six other crops including fresh produce on their farm.
Finalist for the Southeast region was Seth Simmons, Sanderson Farms family farmer and owner and operator of A.B. Simmons Poultry in Purvis, Mississippi. A third generation poultry farmer, Simmons has seen sustainability practices in poultry farming evolve over the decades, and he believes they have evolved for the better.
Founded in 1947, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is based in Tucker, Georgia, and progressively serves its poultry and egg members through research, education, communications and technical services. The association recognizes members of its industry through several annual competitions including the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Awards, Clean Water Awards and Feed Facility of the Year Awards.
About Sanderson Farms
Sanderson Farms, Inc., founded in 1947, is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items. Employing more than 17,000 employees in operations spanning five states and 17 different communities, Sanderson Farms is the third largest poultry producer in the United States. As a company, Sanderson Farms is committed to adopting a fresh approach in everything that we do, not only where products are concerned, but companywide as well. Though the company has grown in size, it still adheres to the same hometown values of honesty, integrity and innovation that were established when the Sanderson family founded the company in 1947.