Continuing on our Celebrating Women’s History Month…
March has been celebrated as Women’s History Month, and so, we are celebrating the work of women leaders who work hard to help develop our industry. Women have been integral to agriculture, and our nation’s food supply chain, since the beginning, and their work continues to drive the chicken industry forward.
Learn how these women got their start in chicken farming and what they love about the work that they do!
Jenny Rhodes, chicken farmer, and agriculture educator: “My parents taught all of us to work on the farm as well as in our home. Agriculture has always been a very important aspect of my life… I always wanted to own and operate my own farm and the poultry industry gave me that opportunity…I am a proud chicken farmer of 30 years and still counting.”
Jennifer “Jenny” Rhodes owns and operates a family poultry and irrigated grain farm with her two sons, Chris and Ryan. They produce more than 500,000 broilers raised without antibiotics annually. Their farm feeds 30,000 people each year. Jenny is also an Extension Educator of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County. The main focuses of her educational programs are agriculture profitability programs, risk management, and poultry production education. Jenny serves as past President of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., past President of Maryland Association of County Agriculture Agents, and past member of Maryland Agriculture Commission. (Read more about Jenny by clicking on her name in blue).
Jenell Eck, a sixth-generation chicken farmer from Maryland: “I grew up working on the farm alongside my father and brother. I started with little jobs on the farm such as walking the houses, setting up houses, and riding in equipment – and I have gained the responsibility to do more tasks on my own. Today I am able to care for the birds on my own and run most pieces of equipment.”
(Read more about Jenell by clicking on her name in blue).
Jennifer, a chicken farmer from Mississippi: “What is not to love about owning your own farm and raising healthy, safe, and affordable food? I love that as a single mom I have taught my sons how to farm and today they both own their own chicken farms.”
Being raised in South Mississippi, I loved the outdoors and grew up in the country. I always knew I wanted to be a farmer, I just never knew I would be a poultry farmer. When I was 19, I started dating my husband. He was already in the poultry business and so was his whole family. While we were dating, I decided to start helping him on his farm. I loved it. He says all I knew was KFC. I think that was when he decided I was a keeper. So twenty years later, here we are. We have grown into two 6 house poultry farms and a poultry litter business.
(Read more about Jennifer by clicking on her name in blue).
Courtesy of the National Chicken Council // https://www.chickencheck.in/