U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
2008 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award
Southwest Regional Winner
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sylvia Small, Vice President Communications, email@example.com
Feb. 6, 2008
Smotherman Farms Receives USPOULTRY’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award
Atlanta—Smotherman Farms of West, Texas, was selected as one of six family farms around the nation to receive the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award at the 2008 International Poultry Expo. This award is given by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in recognition of exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Smotherman Farms was chosen as the winner from the Southwest Region.
Smotherman Farms is a limited liability partnership between Ken Smotherman Jr. and Dana Smotherman, who operate the farm, and Ken Smotherman Sr. and Rita Smotherman, who are credited with being the mentors and investors in a dual generation family farm. The farming operation consists of two separate farms that are located on 148 acres of land in West, Texas. The two farms support a turkey brood facility with two houses and a turkey grow-out facility with four houses. In addition, Smotherman Farms operates an additional farm that is leased from Cargill Turkey Production. The leased farm consists of four turkey grow-out houses and is located roughly eight miles from the two farms owned by Smotherman Farms Ltd. Smotherman Farms Ltd. produces approximately 8.3 million live pounds of turkey annually. The operation is truly a family affair. Ken manages the grow-out facilities and oversees the general operation while Dana manages the brooder operations and is assisted by daughters Kasey and Whitney.
Knowing the importance of proper litter application Smotherman Farms developed a trade agreement with a local farmer/rancher. Litter from the farm is spread on crop land used to grow hay and small grain and provide grazing pastures for cattle. To ensure nutrients are not over applied to the crop and pasture land, soil samples are collected and analyzed regularly. Furthermore, poultry house clean out operations are coordinated with litter application operations to assure litter storage piles are not exposed to storm water runoff. Plans for the construction of a covered litter storage shed have been approved and once complete, the shed will provide a method to protect litter from storm water runoff for extended periods, if necessary.
The Smotherman’s respect for the environment is evident in their development and care of wildlife and numerous wildlife habitats on their farm. During the winter months, numerous migratory water fowl take refuge in a number of stock tanks located on the three farms maintained by the Smothermans. The Smothermans take care to maintain a natural and undisturbed setting to attract and protect the migratory birds as well as install nesting boxes for the birds to use during their residence.
Since purchasing the farm in the fall of 2002, the Smothermans have come to realize the responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of the agricultural industry. The Smothermans say individuals involved in the agricultural industry must strive to carry out practices that not only maintain the environment but improve it.
Applicants for the Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award were rated in several categories, including dry litter or liquid manure management, nutrient management planning, community involvement, wildlife enhancement techniques, innovative nutrient management techniques, and participation in education or outreach programs. Applications and subsequent farm visits are conducted by a team of experts from universities, regulatory agencies and state trade associations to choose the national winners.
The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is the world’s largest and most active organization of its kind. Its focus is research, education, communication and technical assistance.
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