Website contains info for poultry farmers affected by plant closures
Poultry farmers whose production contracts will be affected by the closing of two Townsends processing plants this fall are advised to seek information from a website set up by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The Growers Assistance and Information Network, or GAIN, contains information and listings of resources that could assist growers with financial planning, alternative markets and other topics relevant to their situation. The site includes contact information for resources at state and federal agencies, universities and nonprofit organizations. It also offers a list of steps that growers can take if they find themselves without a contract.
GAIN is accessible at www.ncagr.gov/gain.
In August, Omtron Ltd., which bought Townsends' North Carolina operations in February, announced it would close plants in Mocksville and Siler City by October. The closures are expected to put more than 1,100 people out of work and end the contracts of about 200 poultry farmers who raise chickens for the company.
"The pending closure of these plants is already having a ripple effect across the state, affecting plant workers, farmers and their communities," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "We are working with the Department of Commerce and other state and federal agencies to identify ways to minimize the impacts. In the meantime, we want growers to have as much information as possible. This website is the place to go for that information."
Growers with questions should contact Kim Decker, NCDA&CS poultry marketing specialist, at (919) 707-3116.