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Farmer Profits by Flying from Big Poultry Company


After 23 years of raising chickens for Perdue, Carole Morison found she could earn more money by becoming an independent farmer and selling her own pasture-raised eggs.

Morison, who farms outside Pocomoke on Maryland's Eastern Shore, now owns her own flock of 600 laying hens and sells eggs under her own name to Whole Foods.  Her smaller flock produces less waste than the more than 50,000 broiler chickens she raised Perdue, which means less pollution in the stream next to her farm and the Chesapeake Bay. Morison and others are advocating for a state law -- the "Poultry Fair Share Act" -- that would impose a five-cent-per-chicken tax on poultry companies, with the millions raised to be spent on cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

Poultry companies protest that the chicken tax would be unfair and would drive jobs away from Maryland.

Tom Pelton, a national award-winning environmental journalist, has hosted "The Environment in Focus" since 2007. He also works as director of communications for the Environmental Integrity Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to holding polluters and governments accountable to protect public health. From 1997 until 2008, he was a journalist for The Baltimore Sun, where he was twice named one of the best environmental reporters in America by the Society of Environmental Journalists.