Chicken is the world’s most popular meat. The U.S. chicken industry employs over 300,000 people and produces products worth a wholesale value of over $45 billion every year. Arkansas is one of the top chicken producing states in the country and many Arkansans are able to support their families because of the chicken industry.
Chicken’s role in Arkansas’s economy led me to found the first formal group in Congress to advocate for the industry. My hope is the Congressional Chicken Caucus that I co-founded this week will provide a platform to discuss the role a responsible government can play in helping the chicken industry grow and hire more workers.
As Congress begins work on a new Farm Bill this year, the Congressional Chicken Caucus will ensure that Arkansas’s chicken producers, and producers across the country have a voice. Additionally, the Chicken Caucus will educate other Members of Congress on a range of issues like food safety, trade, labor, immigration and the environment.
The chicken industry’s economic impact can be felt in every state and congressional district throughout the country. As the most consumed meat on the planet, chicken enjoys an unparalleled reputation at home and abroad for being safe, wholesome and affordable. In addition to directly employing hundreds of thousands of workers, the chicken industry also indirectly supports farmers who produce feed and companies that make hatcheries and related products.
Tyson Foods, headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas is one of the largest processors and marketers of chicken in the world. Tyson provides products throughout the United States and to more than 100 countries. In Arkansas alone, Tyson employs 2,076 chicken growers and has a statewide economic footprint over $1 billion a year.
In our First Congressional District, Peco Foods in Batesville, provides good-paying jobs to over 600 Arkansas workers and produces a quality product for consumers. My goal in co-founding the Congressional Chicken Caucus is to be a voice for the folks at Peco Foods in Batesville and Tyson Foods in Springdale. Working with Tyson and Peco, I hope to foster new development and move Arkansas forward.