Suit threat spurs farmers to unite

ARKANSAS - Poultry farmers in Arkansas and Oklahoma are joining forces to make sure they are represented in an expected lawsuit with the state of Oklahoma over poultry waste flowing into watersheds in that state.

The farmers have formed a group called Poultry Partners Inc., and while the group is just getting started, it represents the first time that a poultry-farming organization has won the support of the industry, Washington County Judge Jerry Hunton said. Hunton is a poultry grower and serves on the steering committee of the organization.

The farmers planned to meet at a church in Siloam Springs on Thursday evening to discuss their plan, but it was closed to the press, Hunton said. He was not sure how many farmers have joined.

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson informed seven Arkansas-based poultry companies on March 9 that he planned to sue them over chicken litter being spread in the Illinois River watershed.

Janet Wilkerson, a spokesman for Decatur-based Peterson Farms Inc. who also speaks on behalf of the six other poultry firms on the issue, could not be reached to confirm that the companies support the creation of Poultry Partners.

calendar icon 1 April 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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