Residents in Nash and Wilson counties, North Carolina, form new coalition aimed at stopping Sanderson Farms from locating a chicken slaughterhouse in the area, cite risks to water resources

NASHVILLE, North Carolina , December 30, 2010 (press release) – Residents in Nash and Wilson counties recently formed a new coalition, the Nash County Landowners Association, aimed to stop Sanderson Farms from locating a chicken slaughterhouse in their community.  The group is also announcing a new campaign effort targeting the Sanderson Farms executive team, their Board of Directors, and shareholders.

"Sanderson Farms quietly invaded our neighborhoods just ahead of the holiday season with a secret plan to locate a chicken slaughterhouse in our midst.  The slaughterhouse and surrounding unregulated chicken houses will change the character of our community and its precious water resources tremendously.  It's only right that we go into their neighborhood and tell them openly why these are inappropriate locations for their facilities -- it's wrong for the future of our community and their company.   Sanderson's timing and steamroll approach with this project are borderline unethical," said Con Ward, Chairman of the Nash County Landowners Association.

"Sanderson Farms is a large, publicly-traded company and pushed our county officials to move according to a timetable that suited their shareholders.  This week a number of our residents will be purchasing stock in the company.  We plan to use our new position as shareholders to petition the Board of Directors for time at their next meeting to address our concerns about this proposal," said Ward.

In addition to petitioning the Board of Directors the group will ask to review the files from the company regarding their site selection process.

"Let's be very clear about this, there must be sites in North Carolina that can accommodate this facility without threatening watersheds and drinking water supplies.  The Pamlico-Tar and Neuse watersheds and Buckhorn and Tar River reservoirs are important natural and economic resources that need protection now and for future generations," said Ward.

Vice Chairman Bert Daniels said the group has retained legal counsel and will be coordinating opposition efforts with the City of Wilson and Wilson County.

"We are going to make sure that people involved in this decision process from this point forward are forthright, honest and above board -- that's a starting point for us," said Ward.

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