March 26, 2018
Delaware Farm Bureau has represented Delaware Agriculture for the past 74 years. Our mission is simply to promote and protect Delaware Agriculture through education and advocacy to ensure a quality of life for farmers and their consumers. Delaware Agriculture is an $8 billion industry. In 2015, total value of poultry raised was $946,342,000. Delaware ranked 8th in the nation in value of production. Allen Harim is one of the top three broiler processing companies, employing 1,800, with 220 independent growers, 19 company-owned farms in Delaware, Maryland, and North Carolina and purchases 8 million bushels of corn from local farmers.
Delaware Farm Bureau strongly supports Allen Harim’s proposal to convert the former Vlasic pickle plant in Millsboro into a facility for deboning poultry. It is our understanding this proposal represents the creation of 165 jobs for the local community after losing 130 jobs when the Vlasic plant closed.
Allen Harim’s commitment to the community and our state is substantial and they should be encouraged to expand their facility in Delaware and not be forced to invest in another state.
According to Sussex County Economic Development, the market value of the ag industry is $1.2 billion. Farmland totals 270,000 acres or 45 perent of the land, and agriculture employs over 15,000 residents. Allan Harim is a key employer. The former Vlasic location is perfect for this proposal and Allen Harim is the perfect environmental community partner to develop this facility. Their stated wastewater solution is to eliminate any stream discharge leading to the Indian River.
Although most native Delawareans understand the importance of the poultry industry to our state, I am concerned the citizens representing Sussex County’s recent 7 percent growth rate do not appreciate the economic benefit Delaware Agriculture affords them. They retire or relocate in Delaware because of tax-free shopping, low property taxes, and an abundance of fresh local food – a direct result from our poultry companies, local farm families, and agribusinesses that call Delaware home.
Please join Delaware Farm Bureau in supporting Allan Harim’s proposal to covert an existing plant in to a deboning facility. Contact the Sussex County Board of Adjustments and your County Council representative by calling 855-7743.
Katherine (Kitty) Holtz
Delaware Farm Bureau
March 26, 2018