Sanderson Farms’ Kinston, N.C., facility has received the 2016 Clean Water Award from the Tucker, Ga.-based U.S. Poultry & Egg Association for its conservation of natural resources, generation of renewable energy, regulatory compliance and employee development and community services.
"Without a commitment to environmental stewardship at Kinston, as well as at all our Sanderson Farms facilities, we would not be able to achieve such high levels of environment excellence," said Pic Billingsley, director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms.
Having implemented a state-of-the-art land application system, Sanderson Farms employs various high-tech methods to treat its wastewater even before it’s discharged onto spray fields to grow hay. From there, soil filtration further treats it until it attains drinking-water quality.
As well as conserving water and recycling wastewater, the Kinston facility uses renewable energy captured by refining biogases to pipeline-quality natural gas that can be used throughout the site.
“Sanderson Farms knew that operational excellence would be important, but also that demonstrating its strong sense of values that support the environment, social responsibility and the local area would be critical," said Ben Ferguson, division manager of the Kinston facility.
The third-largest poultry producer in the United States, Laurel, Miss.-based Sanderson Farms employs more than 13,000 employees in operations spanning five states and 13 cities.