grower raise needed
broke chicken farmer

Summit, MS

#1 Apr 22, 2011
are there any other growers for pilgrams pride out there that need a raise? lets get something going on this. our cost have doubled in the past few years while our pay has stayed the same. its time for a raise!!!
old chicken farmer

Wilmar, AR

#2 Apr 22, 2011
Raise? Raise? Are you serious? A RAISE? How about just putting chickens back in the houses that Pilgrim's Pride abandoned. Entire communtities devastated, thousands of workers let go, and hundreds of farms lost due to the actions of this company. And you want a raise. There are hundreds of farms that wish they could get chickens and at least come close to breaking even. The growers in the El Dorado area were among those that were so unmerciless cut off and I know they would jump at the chance to raise chickens for whatever they are paying. I have been advocating for support of these growers ever since this shut down, cut off, bankruptcy stuff begin. I have been saying that those that were fortunate enough to still be raising chickens had better support those growers that had their contract terminated. They have been waging the battle against Pilgrim's Pride on behalf of growers across the nation and now it has started hitting home. A raise? How ironic!! You are lucky to even be able to raise chickens.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#3 Apr 23, 2011
First financial bank has began forclosure on several of the farmers form the El Dorado complex. No doubt that Pilgrims pride, who caused the forclosures, will be first in line to try and buy up these farms, just as they have done in the Farmersville, LA, area. It should be against the law for them "Pilgrims" to benifit in such a manner. I wonder what would happen to me, if I tricked someone into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, in an enterprise, to support my business, then closed a portion of my business that supported their investment, then waited until the banks forclosed on their enterprise, and stepped up to purchase their enterprise for pennys on the dollar. My guess, the courts would lock me up and throw away the key.

United States

#4 Apr 23, 2011
It is beyond me how they can get by with a lot of the stuff they have done to people. I hate to feel the way I do but I just hope that someday they have to pay( and not just "MONEY" ) for what they have done to so many people. Good people are desparate and hurting because of these greedy people. I want to see the headline

"Pilgrim's Pride admit they were wrong and is settling out of court the lawsuit with the growers they put out of business"

Wouldn't that be a great day???
canceled grower

Live Oak, FL

#5 Apr 24, 2011
no disrespect intended old chicken farmer, but yes growers need a raise, in todays economy growers should be paid approx. 8 cents per pound, everything that is neeeded to raise chickens for the billion dollar intergators has increased double and triple in some cases, in live oak florida 26 broiler contracts were canceled, a few of those contracts were reissued after jbs bought into pilgrims, i spoke to a couple of the growers that got their contracts back and they did not realize the increase in expenses it took to raise chickens after being out for 2 years, and now wished they had not signed a contract, old chicken farmer, in your area your farm might be able to survive on 5.4 cents a pound of meat produced but in live oak our insurance is out of control along with propane and electricity, current pay in live oak is 5.45 cents for class A, 5.4 cents for tunnel, pilgrims had a meeting in august of 2010 with the growers and stated that they wanted all canceled farms back on line and intended to build 30 more houses because of production needs, they also stated that the plant has to have 1.3 million head per week to be profitable, in march 2011 growers received a letter from the live production manager that stated that no new contracts would be issued and no new construction will be allowed and that density would be cut from .86 per sq. ft. to .91 per sq. ft. with this kind of production cut pilgrims management is setting our plant up for failure. we have been told that we cannot receive a raise because of agri stats state that we are paid the national average, but in florida we do not have national average for expenses, insurance, propane and electricity and property taxes are out of control, farms in live oak are loosing money and can not survive at this rate, we have already had over 2 years of cuts because of pilgrims bad management decisions, we were gold kist until pilgrims showed up and it has been hell every since, so in conculsion YES GROWERS NEED A RAISE, sorry if this offends anybody but the truth is the truth,
old chicken farmer

Monticello, AR

#6 Apr 24, 2011
No disrepect intended to "cancelled grower", but the mere fact that growers still fortunate enough to get chickens want to complain about the pay seems trivial when compared to growers that had their contracts cancelled. Let's get behind those growers and support those that have been waging this battle against Pilgrim's Pride for over two years now. The attitude of "well it doesn't effect me" has been rampant among growers for years. I have personally witnessed growers that were frantic when the word got out of plant closures. Those growers showed up at the meetings and advocating we all stand together. That is, until they were picked up by another integrator and their attitude changed as quickly as the weather in Arkansas. It no longer was a concern to them and those growers left are on their own. In other words, every man for himself. I strongly agree the pay for growers is woefully inadequate, but there are growers that are in the process of losing everything they have worked for their entire life. They aren't concerned with pay, they just want the chance to raise chickens again. If a farmer presently has chickens they should consider themself lucky and get behind those that have been cut-off.

United States

#7 Apr 24, 2011
broke chicken farmer

Summit, MS

#8 Apr 25, 2011
old chicken farmer i'm sorry for your loss but things have gone up so much its just a matter of time before other people loose ther farms due to lack of pay. in our area they are wanting a 9lb chicken that means loosing a flock a year plus less chickens per house. they talked about building new houses but didnt because they would not pay out. even by giving them a sq. footage bonous. which should be against the law because it cost me the same to raise chickens as new houses. what little money i had saved i see go away a little at a time with every flock i raise. its just a matter of time before i go bankrupt.
old chicken farmer

Warren, AR

#9 Apr 25, 2011
Hey, I'm fully aware of the financial restraints that growers are currently facing. I still raise chickens for Pilgrim's Pride and have seen my pay decreasing, not increasing. While the cost of operating broiler houses continue to increase dramatically our pay has actually decreased. When Pilgrim's Pride started shutting down plants I was being paid on average 5.30. After several plant closures, the average pay was reduced to 5.15. And now I am currently raisng birds for 4.75 average pay. So as you can clearly see, I understand the economics of raising broilers. My frustration stems from the fact that so many growers that were fortunate enough to get birds never seemed to support those that were being cut-off due to plant closures. And now those same growers want everyone to get behind them because their pay isn't high enough. I still raise birds but have been a supporter and tried to find out anything and everything I could do to support those that had their contracts cancelled. Until all growers, present and former, can find someway to unite and stand together it will remain the same. Just because "it doesn't effect my farm" shouldn't be a reason to not support other growers. Even though I am currently raising birds for the same pay I did 15 years ago, I know several farmers that would trade places in a heart beat. The El Dorado growers will be going to trial in June and the outcome will determine the fate of ALL those that raise chickens. Too bad chicken farmers can't show as much support for each other as those public workers in Wisconsin. We can sit back and whine and complain or we can rise up and revolt in order to bring about change. It's the ONLY way.
broke chicken farmer

Summit, MS

#10 Apr 25, 2011
im with you on that i got mad as h--l when they started talking about building new houses with all those other people cut off. it just shows that they dont care about me you or anyone but themselves. greed is all it is they dont care who they hurt just as long as they pad there own pockets.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#11 Apr 25, 2011
It is amazing in todays information age, that most people just do not know of the plight of the poultry farmers. There are those farmers who still have chickens in their houses, who struggle to keep chickens alive, maintain their farms, and deal with unwarranted demands from the integrators,their managers and their enforcers that they call service men. Those same farmers lay in bed awake at night, not being able to sleep, and pull their hair out the kitchen table as they are trying to figure out how to pay their bills,to keep their business in operation, and keep from losing the home and farm they have worked so hard to have. I could write for days on the hardships of the American poultry farmer and their mostly silent struggle. Most farmers are still trapped in the mindset that if they speak out, they will face the wrath of the integrator, and their fears are well founded. Yet speak out they must, come together, they must, or things will never be better.
There are then those of us who have had our lives forever altered by a greedy integrator, "Pilgrims Pride", who devastated entire communities, deliberately, intentionally, and calculated. We the farmers who have had our farms shut down, not only fight for ourselves, but for our communities, and for the rights of each and every poultry farmer in this great country. The right to opperate without fear of the integrator, their managers, their servicemen. The ability to raise poultry in a more reasonable manner, without all the unnecessary, expensive, and unreliable equipment requirements. The right to have realistic pay for services provided. We fight for all poultry farmers, those with birds in their houses, and those who have been shut off, who are fighting for their homes and farms, thru any legal means that they can muster. The integrators have always used the tactic of divide and conquer. They pit farmer against farmer, fueling mistrust, because they know that the moment that the farmers ever decide to begin working together, on that day, their empires, and all their scheming will begin to unravel, and they will be forced to operate in a more just and ethical manner.
old chicken farmer

Banks, AR

#12 Apr 25, 2011
Several years ago farm advocates warned of the consequences associated with the takeover of sections of the protein market by large global agricultural conglomerates. Well folks, it has arrived!!! These large companies can artificially cause a glut in the market place in order to take over smaller companies and also create artificial shortages in order to raise prices and increase profit margins. I know there are people that have the notion "well it's just business". Yes it is, greedy, dirty, immoral business without any thought of the impact on human beings. These large corporations are in effect a live, breathing, monster that will destroy anything or anyone in it's path. They use their money and power to influence legislation, judges, politicians and hire teams of lawyers to skirt regulations already on the books. It may not effect your farm now, but it will eventually if farmers don't wake up and unite.
old chicken farmer

Marshall, TX

#13 Apr 27, 2011
It would be nice when the El Dorado growers go to court if All poultry growers from across the nation would show up at the court house to show their support. The public workers in Wisconsin received support from other workers across the nation that were not directly involved in their dispute. They showed up because they knew in time if they were not supportive it would eventually effect their jobs. If poultry growers really expect to change the dynamics of poultry farming then they can no longer just sit back and remain silent. Your farm may not be directly effected now but the outcome of this trial will have consequences that will have an impact on every poulty farmer across the nation. It will be decided if these large poultry integrators can do as they please without any negative impact. Alot of times justice isn't served in the courts, but we must let the court system know that people are watching them and will hold them accountable.

Rogers, TX

#14 Apr 27, 2011
Think about that. You know how it is with Pilgrim's. They all show up and someone from the company will be ther taking names. Then see what would happen to them.
old chicken farmer

Wilmar, AR

#15 Apr 27, 2011
The only response I have to "Ex-Grower" is that if growers continue to be bullied and intimadated by this company then poultry farmers will never see any change in the way they operate. In other words, don't expect Pilgrim's Pride to voluntairly change the way they do business. Don't expect a pay raise, don't expect fair and equitable treatment, and one can expect more and more equipment upgrades. Until this company is held accountable they will continue to squeeze farmers into virtual poverty. It's time poultry growers get some backbone and unite to fight these corporate thugs that are making hundreds of millions of dollars off the back of farmers. I feel confident in saying that the attitude of "being afraid" will only propel Pilgrim's Pride into taking more and more leaving farmers with less and less. The attitude of being afraid sure hasn't worked so far, it has only emboldened this company.

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#16 Apr 27, 2011
Ex-Grower wrote:
Think about that. You know how it is with Pilgrim's. They all show up and someone from the company will be ther taking names. Then see what would happen to them.
Ex-grower, I understand your fear, it is the same fear that has kept good people downtrodden, and enslaved for ages. It is the same fear that Pilgrims Pride used on us, it is the same fear that all integrators use on their farmers. It has taken many forms down through the years, and it is always welded by greedy minded people who want to build up their lives, and fortunes on the backs, and through the fear they instill on other people.
When Jonathan Shepard created the documentary on the poultry farmers, "THE SHARECROPPERS", he was confronted with so much fear in the farmers, that he knew there was a deep profound problem, that needed to be exposed to the nation. He was threatened, and forced to leave farms for fear that the integrator would even find out that they had even talked to them. That kind of fear should not be allowed in our country. Who is it that puts this kind of fear into normally strong independant farmers? We all know the answer to that question, but for those of you who just don't understand, it is the integrators. They have power, money, influence, and are almost above the law, as they have so much influence over so many in the legal arena. Your fear is nothing compared to what it soon may be. The companies have done their jobs well. They have instilled fear, developed mistrust among the farmers, and destroyed enough people, and farms to instill that fear, and live with impunity for their actions.
You have a choice to make. It is not an easy choice, but it is a choice each and every farmer must make. Live in fear, under the heal of these integrators, existing on what crumbs they choose to let fall from their table, or realize that fear is the opposite of faith.
Do I want to see the integrators fall? NO!! But as each school yard bully, they need to be taught some humility!!!!!Only then will they be willing to "TRULY" partner with the farmers, and stop with this present farce that they are pitching.

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