Baker’s Acres Farm, located in Millsboro, was awarded the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award during the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo, recently held in Atlanta.
USPOULTRY sponsors the annual awards in recognition of environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.
Baker’s Acres Farm is owned and operated by Terry Baker Jr., who raises broiler chickens for Mountaire Farms. Following in his father’s footsteps, Baker started his career in the poultry processing side of the industry, eventually working for Mountaire Farms. Baker left Mountaire to farm full-time. He has since expanded the size of his farm through the use of new technology and innovative management practices.
Baker and his wife, Mena, have implemented new conservation practices since they purchased the farm in 2007, including sheds for manure storage, heavy-use area pads in front of houses and storage buildings, grassy swales for stormwater retention and environmental buffer zones. Baker also has planted a variety of vegetation around the farm to prevent erosion, reduce the farm’s environmental impact and provide a visual buffer for good neighbor relations. The Bakers also have been utilizing a comprehensive nutrient management plan for the past 10 years.
Baker and his business partner, Victor Clark, spent several years researching, testing and eventually introducing an alternative animal mortality management practice on Delmarva. Large on-farm freezer units allow growers like Baker to safely store and preserve the farm’s daily routine mortality, so the material can later be transported to a rendering facility and recycled into valuable commodities.
John Prestage, senior vice president for Prestage Farms and vice chairman of the USPOULTRY board of directors, presented the 2018 Family Farm Environmental Excellence award to Jimmy Paulakuhn of Mountaire Farms, who accepted the award on Baker’s behalf.