Brake, a second generation poultry farmer whose father raised chickens for Perdue for almost 30 years, has been raising chickens for Perdue since 1995 and today owns a total of eight Perdue barns. Her four daughters are each involved in the family business, the eldest of which is studying agriculture at NC State University. Building on their passion for poultry farming, the family built and opened an educational center in one of their henhouses which includes a large observation room where guests and students can observe and learn about the birds undisturbed. in their environment.
Brakes are the third family of Perdue farms to open a poultry learning center on their farm and were inspired to build their own after discovering similar projects from other Perdue farmers at the company’s annual animal care summit in 2019.
“After talking with other farmers who had opened learning centers on their farms, it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I realized the importance of sharing who we are as farmers and how we take care of our animals because there is a lot of misinformation out there, ”said Steven Brake, poultry farmer at Perdue Farms. “We love what we do and want to help educate adults and children about where their food comes from. It is one thing to tell people what we are doing; it is more meaningful if we can let them see it for themselves. “
Brake focused on educating his farm’s learning center for students of all ages. He and the farm’s live production manager, Crystal, are working together to organize guided tours of local elementary, high school and high school classrooms, as well as agriculture, animal science and bioengineering students from several surrounding colleges and universities, including North Carolina State University, Mount Olivier University, and Edgecombe Community College. Brake’s sister, Vickie, who is a teacher, has helped create unique teaching standards that work in harmony with visiting so teachers can create relevant programs and tests for their classes.
“These field trips are a great way to get kids out of the classroom and give us the opportunity to show them what poultry farming is all about. This is our goal: we want to educate. Teachers can download educational standards for their programs, in the classroom, and even take tests after the farm tour, ”said Brake. “Agriculture is an applied science with many complexities, so we demonstrate how various concepts work on our farm, such as heat transfer as part of our management of climate control in poultry houses. “
“Several years ago at Perdue we charted a new course for our business in a number of key areas, particularly for the animals in our care and the family farmers who raise these animals. Part of this plan prioritizes transparency with all our stakeholders, inviting monitoring, teaching the next generation and reporting regularly on our progress, ”said Marc McKay, President, Perdue Poultry and Premium Meats. “This educational center which Steven Brake and his team have built that is perfectly aligned with Perdue’s plan for the future; they run a farm that shows the best of what it means to take care of animals, and which is specially designed to foster discussion and openly show the progress we are all making. “
The materials and labor to build Brake’s new learning center were donated by Tommy herring, president of Hog Slat, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer and supplier of breeding equipment.
Students and community members interested in learning more or arranging a visit can find additional information here.
About Perdue Farms:
We are a fourth generation American family owned food and agriculture company. Through our belief in responsible food and agriculture, we empower consumers, customers and farmers with reliable choices in products and services.
The premium protein portfolio within our Perdue Foods business, including our flagship product LOST® Mark, Niman Ranch®, Panorama® organic pasture meats, Coleman Natural®, and Yum®, as well as our brands for pets, Spot® farms and Full Moon®, is available through a variety of channels including retail, foodservice, club stores, and our direct-to-consumer website, PerdueFarms.com.
Lost AgriBusiness is an international agricultural products and services company.
Today, in the second century of our business, our path to the future is to improve, not just to grow. We never use drugs to stimulate growth in poultry and livestock farming, and we actively advance our animal welfare programs. Our brands are leaders in antibiotic-free chicken, turkey, pork, beef and lamb, as well as USDA certified organic chicken and beef. Learn more about Company.PerdueFarms.com.
SOURCE Lost Farms