From Farms to Food Science
As a state that gave rise to its own breed of chicken and is recognized as the birthplace of the broiler chicken industry, Delaware is well known for its advancements and innovations in the agriculture industry, particularly in the area of poultry production and processing.
Poultry accounts for roughly 70 percent of the state’s annual farm cash receipts, and Sussex County is the top poultry producer in the United States, processing more than 200 million chickens each year.
Not surprisingly, three of the top 20 broiler-producing companies in the nation have their headquarters in Sussex County, and the state is home to a large number of the nation’s biggest poultry growers and processors, including Perdue Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride, Mountaire Farms and Allen Harim Foods.
In addition, the agriculture industry has successfully partnered with Delaware’s cutting-edge life sciences sector at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute to conduct and apply research in the field of avian genomics. Merck Animal Health also conducts research and manufactures vaccines in Delaware for the poultry industry.
Resources for the Agriculture Industry
- The Delmarva Poultry Industry is a nonprofit organization serving the poultry industry on the Delmarva Peninsula, an area that covers Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
- The University of Delaware College Lasher Laboratory of Poultry Diagnostics and Research is located on the Georgetown campus and is the primary poultry diagnostic lab in Delaware, providing diagnostic services to poultry producers.
- The Delaware Biotechnology Institute is conducting groundbreaking research in the field of avian genomics.