In response to the the proposed Costco Wholesale and Lincoln Premium Poultry fully-integrated poultry processing facility planned for the Fremont area, several organizations are sponsoring four informational meeting to address topics related to poultry grower contracts.

Two national experts on poultry contracts will make presentations and answer questions from participants. The first is Mike Weaver a contract grower out of West Virginia and President of the Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias. The second, Lynn Hayes, serves as senior attorney and program director of Farmers Legal Action Group Inc.

According to a press release, Weaver holds several years of experience as a poultry contract grower as well as expertise in identifying ways to improve or avoid problem contracts. The release promotes several of the same credentials for Hayes.

The meetings will be co-sponsored and financed by various local, state and national organizations that include: the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), Farm Aid, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation, Nebraska Communities United and GC Resolve.

“Farm Aid knows first-hand the disastrous consequences of abusive poultry contracts,” said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “The poultry industry has worked to the benefit of poultry integrators, at the expense of producers, workers and communities.”

“The problems with poultry contracts are well known and longstanding,” said Nebraska Farmers Union President and OCM Vice President John Hansen. “Tragically, poultry processors continue to flex their political muscle in Congress to get riders attached in Appropriation Committees preventing USDA funding from implementing the law of the land.”

The meetings will be scheduled at the following times and places:

- Monday, June 20 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Nielsen Community Center in West Point (200 Anna Stalp Ave.)

-Tuesday June 21 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Columbus Library in Columbus (2504 14th Street)

- Wednesday June 22 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Saunders County Historical Society in Wahoo (240 N. Walnut St.)

- Thursday June 23 at the Arlington Multipurpose Senior Center in Arlington (305 N. 3rd Street).

“We thank ... all the organizations that have been willing to partner with us to make this set of outstanding meeting possible,” said Nebraska Communities United local leader Randy Ruppert.

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