Etheridge seeks aid for poultry farmers

July 9, 2009 

U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat, wants to help 46 poultry farmers in his district who have lost their contracts with a major chicken processing company.

When Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation filed for bankruptcy last year, its growing contracts with farmers were terminated. Etheridge today introduced legislation that gives temporary financial help to poultry farmers who lose contracts through no fault of their own, reports Barb Barrett.

He estimates the bill would help nearly four dozen poultry farmers in Chatham, Lee, Cumberland and Harnett counties. Etheridge said many are in danger of losing their farms.

"I introduced this legislation because these farmers should immediately be eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Etheridge said in a statement.

“I will not stand by as rural America’s poultry producers are left abandoned by this economic downturn. We have a tool to help them and this legislation would give them a strong chance to get back on their feet.”

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