Environmental Stars: A Family Tradition
RHODESDALE, Md. - On Wednesday, February 22nd, Mountaire Farms and WMDT-TV visited Centennial Farms to present Brad and J.B. Murphy with the WMDT/Mountaire Environmental Star of the Month Award. These two brothers have taken the family tradition of poultry farming and modernized it with the recently completed Centennial Farms. This beautiful poultry farm features six state-of-art houses and a spacious control room that could pass for a comfortable living room. A $2.6 million dollar investment, but one that places the Murphy brothers ahead of the game when it comes to growing chickens in an efficient, environmentally friendly way.
The six house facility can house 240,000 birds at a time. When considering the average annual turnover is four that amounts to about 1 million birds a year. Even more impressive is the advanced technology which has been incorporated into the farm. Whether it’s from the comfort of the control room or from a smart phone from anywhere in the world, Brad and J.B. can monitor and control what’s going on inside each house.
"Anywhere we have internet access we can change things like heating and fan speeds inside any of these chicken houses," says Brad Murphy. This not only provides the nice luxury of peace of mind when off the farm, but also helps cut down on bird loss and energy bills.
Born into the business, the Murphy Brothers are 3rd generation poultry farmers who learned the ropes at an early age by working on the family farm and have now made a 2.6 million dollar investment in the future of Delmarva’s poultry industry which they hope stays strong so they can one day pass the business down to their kids.
“At a time in Delmarva and across the United States when neighborhood food banks are empty, and homeless shelters are overflowing with requests for food and a place to sleep, Americans should stand up and applaud Centennial Farms, a family chicken farming operation of six houses newly opened in Rhodesdale Maryland. Father and sons whose one hundred year tradition of growing chickens and nurturing the ground, combines a lifestyle of old fashioned hard work, community service and entrepreneurial risk-taking.
Two young men, growing up and working on the family farm since age 6, (now ages 31 and 32) have learned a thing, or two about raising chickens and running a business. They learned that there is always more to learn. And now they together have been weaned from the rewards of working successfully on father’s farm and encouraged to strike out in a 2.6 million dollar venture to feed America in their own business environment.
Yesteryear it was mostly hard labor that separated the successful from those who didn’t fare so well. Today it is the advent of state-of-art of technology and hard work to cut costs, be more environmentally astute, along with market savvy that contributes to business success. And tomorrow it will be the further mastering of technologies, hard work and market savvy we haven’t yet imagined that will improve the environment on the land, internal operations in the chicken houses, at their home sites and around the educational community where their children are to be schooled. And these wonders are coming fast to those who will embrace the educational resources.
Too many times we hear criticism of the farmer being owned by outside entities – “Factory Farming”. Here is the truth…Family Farming is alive and well and growing on Delmarva soil. Brad and J.B. Murphy know their mission on the farm and in the community where they live, work, play and pray. They are part of a family that has exercised the gift of the free enterprise system their forefathers fought so hard to preserve for centuries and to pass that freedom to work hard and succeed from generation to generation, family after family. They are truly model-productive citizens of the Eastern Shore, state of Maryland and the United States of America.
Let it be known to all who are ignorant of the facts, and criticize the family that farms, that the Murphy’s are without fanfare trumpeting the models for those who follow with desire to produce life’s sustaining gift of food.
And anyone who views it differently is overdue for an eye exam.” - Roger Marino, Mountaire Corporate Director, Communications, Community Relations.