Family of chicken farmers feels attacked by coalition CEO

Farmers weigh in on poultry houses
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

Evening Shade, AR - Nov 1. UPDATE: On Monday, Region 8 News spoke to a man in Evening Shade working to keep chicken houses out of the area and on Tuesday, one woman spoke in support of her family's way of life.

Denice Darland, whose family runs chicken houses in the area of Sharp County.

She said his goal of keeping chicken houses out of the Evening Shade area is an attack on what they do.

Darland explained that chicken farming is a benefit to the entire state and the results of Middleton's actions could affect more than just the chicken farmers.

She says she does not know what the results will be for producers if the Arkansas Rights Koalition is successful.

When it comes to their farm, Darland said she and her husband try to be good stewards of the land.

She said they depend on their animals and the land as much as they depend on them.

Darland said the environmental concerns Middleton has do not exist.

She planned on attending a meeting Tuesday night to ask the group questions of their own.

A group in Evening Shade is fighting to keep the town's quality of life after learning some companies want to bring chicken houses into the community.

Curtis Middleton, CEO of the Arkansas Rights Koalition, said those groups include Peco and OMP.

He said they worry about the possible effects multiple chicken houses might have on their community.

Middleton explained he went through an environmental assessment done on the area.

During his research, he said he realized the report had inaccurate information.

He said he also found something that he took personally.

"The government agency determined that the people here in Evening Shade and surrounding areas are of low income and therefore won't be affected by the known hazards associated with putting one of these facilities in," Middleton said.

Middleton and his group filed a notice of intent to sue both the Farm Services Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife for failing to adequately address the endangered and threatened species in the environmental assessment.

He said what they are doing is making sure government agencies follow the rules as well as try to protect their home.

Middleton said what they were doing was not a personal attack on chicken farms.

He and others in his group just do not want to possibly lose what they have in Evening Shade.

To help inform the public on what they are doing, a meeting will be held at the auditorium in Evening Shade Tuesday night at 7.

Guest speakers will attend to explain the economic impact having the chicken house in the area could have.

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