Poultry farmers are an important part of their communities. Some have been raising chickens there for generations. 

But McClatchy’s big-city papers ran a series of stories in December attacking North Carolina’s poultry industry. The papers did so using secretive donations from a mysterious climate activist organization called One Earth Fund. Google’s Data-Driven Reporting Project (unknowingly?) piled on by funding data research services.   

The stories purported to pit good rural North Carolinians against “big bad” poultry. One passage from the stories read: “More North Carolina residents are finding themselves neighbors to massive poultry farms that produce odors, noxious dust and hundreds of tons of manure.” 

The implication is obvious: Poultry farmers are imposters who make life worse for people in their communities. 

That got the Ag Partnership thinking: Is McClatchy’s framing of this story anywhere close to the truth (or reality)? 

So we commissioned a poll of the 23 North Carolina counties that produce the most poultry to find out.  

The results are in, and the answer is clear: North Carolina’s poultry communities proudly support poultry farmers.  

63% of residents in the top poultry counties think the industry’s impact on their community is very positive or somewhat positive. Just 26% have a negative view: 

And even more people — a whopping 74% — agree that “the vast majority of poultry farms in North Carolina are operated by family farmers who live near their farm and care deeply about their community.” Just 16% disagree: 

By a similar margin — 74%-15% — poultry county residents agree that “poultry farming is important to my county as it is creating thousands of jobs and adding millions of dollars each year to this county’s economy.” 

The results shouldn’t come as a surprise. Some poultry farmers have been operating in their communities for generations. They’re woven into the fabric of North Carolina. They’re part of the culture and identity of these counties. Poultry farmers feed their towns, their state, their country, and in fact the entire world. They’re one of us. 

These farmers are honest, hardworking people who do their level best to raise animals in a responsible manner. 

People in poultry counties trust that poultry farmers do right by their communities. Do you know who they don’t trust? Big-city papers like McClatchy, especially when those papers get secretive funding from climate activists. 

We asked poultry county residents how trustworthy they find McClatchy’s stories. Just 14% trusted what they read. Stay tuned for future posts that will dig deeper into those numbers. 

Details on poll and NC Ag Partnership  

The NC Ag Partnership exists to strengthen the economic viability of farmers, businesses, and their communities. We counter the flood of special interests that envision a different future, one in which agriculture is no longer the bedrock of North Carolina. This poll is one way we accomplish that mission. 

CHS & Associates conducted a survey of 500 registered voters in select poultry-producing counties in North Carolina. The poll has a margin of error +/-4.3% and was conducted April 24-27, 2023. 

Here are the counties our poll covered: 

  • Primary broiler-producing counties in North Carolina: Wilkes, Union, Randolph, Chatham, Moore, Duplin, Richmond, Harnett, Anson, and Bertie. 
  • Primary table egg layer-producing counties in North Carolina: Alamance, Alexander, Nash, Iredell, Randolph, and Yadkin. 
  • Primary turkey-producing counties: Sampson, Duplin, Wayne, Union, Onslow, Lenoir, Greene, Bladen, Pender, and Stanly.