New Study May Expand Poultry Operations in Pittsylvania Co.

Pittsylvania Co., VA - Pittsylvania County's agriculture community has been cashing in for years thanks to a partnership with local farmers and Perdue chicken, but the results of a new study could create a market for even more poultry companies to set up shop in the area.

It was 12 years ago when representatives from Perdue Chicken came to Pittsylvania County looking for farmers.

Since then, Donnie Moore and his son have been raising breeder chickens on his Chatham farm.

"It's worked well for us and we're glad we did it, and Perdue has kept up their end of the bargain, " Donnie said.

The younger Moore, Daniel, is responsible for tending to the 15,000 chickens inside the chicken house, but the ABC13 cameras were not allowed inside.

Donnie says the company has strict biosecurity rules - which include showering in and out of the facility and changing from head to toe.

"It's all just to eliminate that possibility of anything being carried into that chicken house where those birds are, " Donnie said.

These houses - which require little maintenance per day - net farmers more than $12,000 a year in extra income.

Supervisor Tim Barber hopes the State Department of Agriculture study will show that Pittsylvania County is ready for even larger integrated poultry partnerships with other big name companies.

"We've had talk, for the last couple of years. I've heard of other companies that were actually looking in the area because of our agricultural base and workforce we already have in place, " Barber said.

Local leaders in Bedford County and Franklin County are also looking at some of their laws to create more flexibility for similar opportunities. Barber says the region needs more agri-business options.

"The backbone of Pittsylvania County is agriculture. We're trying to get diverse and do more things and get more opportunities in the county and this is a good way to do it, " Barber said.