Chicken Farmers

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Nearly 50 chicken farmers in Geneva County and North Florida are worried about their future after Purdue Farms announced the closing of a poultry processing plant in North Florida, idling about 400 workers.

A spokeswoman for Perdue Farms says the company is offering three-point-two (m) million dollars in financial assistance to assist farmers in the transition when contracts are canceled. But some farmers say despite the financial help, the closure will leave some of them thousands of dollars in debt.

At least one Geneva County farmer says after 30 years in the business, he's ready to close his chicken coops. Franklin Bowen said Perdue's timing couldn't be better and he's pleased with the settlement.

Bowen also said the plant closing points to the fact that chicken farming is a gamble.

Perdue officials said half of the affected farmers already have signed agreements to share in the proceeds.