This Former Industrial Chicken Farmer Wants to Go Big With Pasture-Raised Eggs
As Carole Morison puts it, she’s existed on both extremes of the agriculture industry over her decades-long career as a chicken farmer. For 23 years, she raised broilers as a contract farmer for a big poultry company. That period of her life ended after she invited a film crew to shoot footage inside her barns—images that became a major part of the 2008 documentary Food, Inc.
She lost her contract after the film came out, but that was OK with Morison, who now raises pastured laying hens. In a new video on the ag-crowdfunding website Barnraiser, the reformed farmer says that when her contract was dropped, “we had reached a point where we had had enough. The environmental issues, the animal welfare issues, the public health issues with antibiotics,” had all turned her off to industrial-scale farming. “We had reached a point where we just weren’t happy anymore.”
She’s since converted Bird’s Eye View Farm to a far happier place—for chickens and ranchers alike. The Animal Welfare Approved operation produces 4,200 eggs per week, but Morison can’t keep up with demand. So she’s raising money to add a new barn to house more hens, upgrade her egg-washing and -packing facility, and perhaps most interestingly, create a program to help convert other chicken farms on Maryland’s Eastern Shore into humane egg operations.
Morison may have big plans for expansion, but she seems at peace with the work she’s doing too. “I’m definitely proud of the way that I raise them,” she says of her birds.