Cedar Creek Community Meeting Re: Sanderson Farms

Cedar Creek Community Meeting – Fayetteville, NC

Topic of Discussion: Sanderson Farms – Chicken Processing Plant (rumored to be in negotiations with county officials to locate in the empty Cedar Creek Industrial Plant)
August 7, 2014


Speakers in Attendance:

Richard Evans – local landowner and Cedar Creek spokesperson against the proposed farm

Derb Carter – Southern Environmental Law Center – Chapel Hill

Kemp Burdette – Cape Fear River Watch

Michael Mallin – research professor for marine and estuarine ecology at UNC Wilmington

Larry Baldwin – NC Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation – coordinator



Residents/others – roughly 300+

Representative Rick Glazier

NC Senate candidate district 19 Billy Richardson


Website:  The group opposing the chicken facility has created a website, which can be found at www.nochickenplant.com.  They also have an email address, which is [email protected]


What Was Said:

Richard Evans – “We invited the commissioners, city council, and candidates.  There was a conflict with the Cumberland County commissioners.  Let me give you a little history of how this all started.  A third party representative began to contact landowners expressing an interest to purchase property.  The representative would give no name of the company or would indicate what the use of the land would be.  So obviously that got us very curious and we started asking questions.  It peaked our curiosity, we made some calls and there was some discussion with area landowners.  Additional details emerged and soon we learned there was a chicken processing facility in negotiations with Cumberland County to be located in the Cedar Creek Industrial Park.  Keep in mind at time there is no public knowledge of this, no media coverage.  This did not become public until we organized a small group of landowners to discuss it.  Clearly, these discussions with the county have been going on for what we believe to be a long time.”


Mabel Smith (concerned resident and member of Falling Run Baptist Church) – “I am Mabel Smith, lifelong citizen of Cumberland County.  I’m a previous councilperson and when I saw the first article in the paper about the Sanderson chicken slaughterhouse…excuse my expression; I immediately called the chairwoman of Cumberland County Commissioners and expressed my feelings about this.  It falls on the line with Falling Run Baptist Church, so I have multiple interests in this plant that is supposed to be coming.  They talk about jobs but they haven’t said a thing about the people here in the community.  The county commissioners will have to vote on it.  They didn’t have time to come to us…but we can go to them!  They are up for election in November and don’t you forget!  You can also have right in’s!”


Evans – “To give you an idea of the reach of Sanderson….they has contacted land owners 4 to 5 miles toward Elizabethtown and contacted land owners from the park 3 to 4 miles towards Fayetteville so this is for spray fields so you could have 7 to 8 miles of pipeline meaning spray fields.  It’s a huge footprint.  They use 1.25 million I think I heard gallons of water a day to run their operations.”


Derb Carter – (talking points below)

  • This is the same as proposed outside of Wilson
  • They haven’t bought property yet, it’s not too late
  • They haven’t come forward yet and that’s a good thing
  • 3 red flags – 1) Why didn’t they come and announce it…let’s have a conversation 2) Wilson – they did this in Wilson, they filed lawsuits and beat it 3) Affects the Cape Fear River basin down to Wilmington
  • We can help with getting others involved
  • They are looking for property to spray waste on
  • 1.4 million gallons of wastewater a day
  • Concerns – water quality, groundwater contamination, aquifer depletion, rural homes/quality of life, truck traffic, noise, dust, feathers, odor
  • On the poultry operations – (140-150) tons of poultry litter per chicken house per year

Kemp Burdette – (talking points below)

  •  The Cape Fear River is in the worst shape today due to nutrient input
  • The EPA has been forced to look at it
  • Sanderson Farms will be a death sentence for water quality
  • I urge you to look at this and imagine the future. Huge slaughter house and huge chicken houses
  • It’s early and you can fight it

Larry Baldwin – (talking points below)

  • This company is insidious – contacting people without telling you who they are and not talking above board
  • They are sliding in underneath you and talking to county officials
  • The landscape in NC has already changed due to Sanderson Farms
  • Regardless of where the 500(+/-) new chicken barns are located, the environment of eastern NC will be negatively impacted
  • Most times, we don’t know, and are not allowed to know, where they will be built or what they do with the waste generated


Sidebar: It was announced that a committee would be formed to fight the plant. Person(s) are asked to contact Richard Evans.

What is Next?  The group plans to attend public forums for the Cumberland County Commissioners and Fayetteville City Council.

August 18 – Cumberland County Commissioners Public Forum
September 8 – Fayetteville City Council Public Forum

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Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".