”The Farmers Lincoln Premium Poultry has been recruiting farmers for the last year and a half.
The company is tight-lipped about the actual number they have signed on so far, but in a state where row crops—corn and soy—dominate the landscape, and most small-scale livestock production left decades ago, LPP says bringing poultry back has the potential to help a new generation of farmers return to their family operations. They have three barns under construction in Allen, Nebraska, and they’ll be getting their first shipment of pullets next April, just a week before Hannah, 21, graduates from the University of Nebraska.
Married to the Barns Hansen has seen early versions of the contract LPP is offering farmers but says the company has resisted sharing newer versions with him in recent months.
And while he and others have offered information sessions from farmers and experts on poultry over the last year, he says it seems to make little difference.“[Costco and LPP] like the idea of having folks that don’t have any real background or experience with these issues.
As the biggest competitor with Whole Foods, selling $4 billion in organic foods, Costco has been wooing shoppers who care about the source of their food for years.
(In fact, the company just announced that it would tighten its standards around antibiotic use in all the meat it supplies thanks in part to an ongoing effort by shareholder activists).
In 2014, Costco reported selling 78 million of these processed, four-pound birds a year.