Thursday, January 6, 2011

N.C. residents really don't want a chicken plant

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Good for the people of Nash and Wilson Counties; they're not sitting idly by while a chicken processing plant moves in. Oh, no. They've actually hired a public relations firm to lobby their county commission in an effort to convince them to back away from the development. Click here to see one of the fliers being circulated in the area and online. It talks about the plant's demand on the area's drinking water, potential water and air contamination, worker safety concerns and, of course, the smell that millions of chickens will generate.

Now, the real question: Why should citizens have to hire a public relations firm to get their elected officials to listen to them?

From The Rocky Mount Telegram:

Nash County residents have hired a Raleigh-based public relations firm to develop a campaign to sway a company not to locate a chicken processing plant in the southern end of the county.

Campaign Connections, which has handled political and corporate campaigns throughout the state, has been hired by the residents with the financial assistance of the city of Wilson, said Con Ward, chairman of the Nash County Landowners Association.

The association was formed to convince county officials and Sanderson Farms to drop plans to develop a proposed chicken processing plant at the southeast quadrant of N.C. 97 and Interstate 95. On Nov. 1, the Nash County Board of Commissioners approved of a rezoning of the property that would allow the plant to be built there. County officials have been courting Sanderson Farms, which promises 1,100 new jobs, since the summer. But residents in Southern Nash County and Wilson County, as well as city officials in Wilson, have raised concerns about the proposal. The city of Wilson and local residents have sued Nash County, alleging the rezoning process was flawed.

As the legal case continues, the residents will continue to make their case known through protests and the Campaign Connections campaign, Ward said.

Read the rest of this article, by John Henderson, here.

Here is a peek inside an unnamed U.S. poultry processing plant:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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