According to Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI), Maryland produced 305,200,000 meat chickens in 2013. Maryland is ranked 8th among the states for the number of meat chickens produced. The economic impact of animal agriculture on the Eastern Shore is very high.
Bill Satterfield, executive director of DPI said, “A 2012 economic impact study for the chicken industry on Maryland’s Eastern Shore shows there were more than 15,000 direct chicken industry jobs (chicken company employees and the farm families that grow the chickens) with annual wages and benefits exceeding $636 million. The total direct economic activity was estimated to be in excess of $4.5 billion per year. That is a huge amount of money in a small area like the Eastern Shore and absolutely essential for the region’s economy.”
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture,these Maryland counties were ranked among the leaders in broiler chicken production nationally: Dorchester #82, Somerset #18, Caroline #20, Wicomico #28, Worcester #29, Queen Anne’s #124, Talbot #235. The data showed there were 79 chicken farms in Dorchester County, and they produced about 10% of Maryland’s meat chickens.
Dorchester County is home to Amick Farms which ranked #14 nationally in a 2013 study based upon average weekly ready-to-cook production, by weight, as published in WATT PoultryUSA, March 2014. Delmarva also has Perdue ranked #4, Tyson ranked #1, and Mountaire ranked #7.