WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2013 – Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., today announced the formation of the inaugural Senate Chicken Caucus in the U.S. Senate. Senator Coons made the announcement during a speech delivered at the National Chicken Council's 59th Annual Conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
"Chicken has long been one of Delaware's proudest and most prominent commodities," Sen. Coons said. "Chicken growers, integrators, processors, and distributors employ thousands in Delaware and across the country, and provide healthy and delicious meals to consumers around the world. I hope that the Senate Chicken Caucus will give America's chicken producers a platform to better inform legislators about the industry's vital contributions to our economy, and promote policy solutions that help their businesses grow and thrive.”
Coons will co-chair the caucus with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
The Senate Chicken Caucus was formed to educate other senators about the history, contributions and concerns of U.S. chicken producers, which emanate from a wide range of issues pertaining to agriculture, food safety, free trade, labor, immigration reform and others.
A Congressional Chicken Caucus was formed in the House in 2011 during the 112th session of Congress. It is co-chaired by Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., and Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., and maintains more than 50 House members.
In addition to Sens. Coons and Isakson, founding members of the Senate Chicken Caucus to date include Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Tom Carper, D-Del., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
"I want to thank Senators Coons and Isakson for their bipartisan leadership in taking the lead in organizing the Senate Chicken Caucus," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. "As it does in the House, the Senate Caucus will give a united voice to chicken producers as we navigate the many issues of importance to our industry in the months ahead."
According to NCCP, U.S. chicken companies directly employ over 300,000 workers, producing products worth a wholesale of over $45 billion dollars annually with major operations in more than 30 states. Further, NCCP says there are more than 40 vertically integrated companies that contract with 25,000 family farms to raise broiler chickens.
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