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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Board explores bringing poultry houses to county

Friday, May 23, 2014

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

Can Franklin County become a center for poultry growers?

That was a question the board of supervisors explored during its Tuesday afternoon meeting.

Board Chairman David Cundiff said poultry companies have indicated they want to expand, and the development of "chicken houses" in the county could provide a huge economic boost.

The industry could help struggling tobacco and dairy farms by providing another way to produce income, Cundiff said.

"In Pittsylvania County, it (poultry houses) did save some family farms," he said. "This is a viable agricultural product and an opportunity for people to move forward."

Cundiff said that he has visited poultry houses and they are kept up under very strict industry guidelines.

"There is no smell," he said, explaining that fans keep air moving through the houses constantly, and a smell can only be detected close to the fans.

He said the manure is used for fertilizer.

Cundiff said the chickens would be grown here, then shipped and processed somewhere else.

"This can be a family business," he added.

Another positive thing about the industry, he said, is it creates the need for grain, which could be grown by local farmers.

Gills Creek District Supervisor Bob Camicia agreed.

"This sounds like a great opportunity," he said, adding that zoning in most places in the county is not an obstacle.

Rocky Mount District Supervisor Charles Wagner said it would help county agriculture as a whole, creating related jobs. He recommended moving forward with a plan to look into bringing the industry here.

"It's not going to be an overnight situation," Cundiff said. "But it can be explored ... it could have a large impact on Franklin County."

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