Perhaps more than much of agriculture, the poultry industry has been the target of animal rights advocates and others who have tried to damage the image of their products in the eyes of consumers. That’s why the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY) was one of the founding organizations for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), to join with others in agriculture in a dialogue about food production.
“The poultry industry is committed to producing a wholesome, safe, sustainable supply of poultry to consumers that’s healthy and tastes good,” says Monty Henderson, former chairman of USPOULTRY who now represents the industry on the board of USFRA. “With all the noise out there today, USFRA is carrying that message to consumers for us.”
Henderson says one of the USFRA initiatives that he believes has been most effective in getting agriculture’s message to consumers is the Faces of Farming and Ranching. “USFRA goes out and selects four or five young farmers that represent conventional agriculture and are in different geographic locations across the country,” said Henderson. “Those young farmers are very involved in social media and they attend a lot of Food Dialogues and represent the farmers producing our food.”
Henderson has been in the poultry business for many years, starting as a broiler service manager with Tyson Foods and later with Campbell Soup Company. He served as president of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and in 1994 joined George’s, Inc., as president and CEO where he retired in 2010. In addition to serving as a past chairman for U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, Henderson has served on the Board of Directors for the National Chicken Council and as a director of the American Egg Board. “I think USFRA represents all segments of farming,” he says. “That’s one of the reasons that we are so active in it.”
Listen to my interview with Monty here: Interview with Monty Henderson, USFRA board member for poultry