Welfare In The Value Chain
We’re committed to maintaining the highest animal welfare standards throughout our value chain and expect the same of our independent contract farmer partners.
Ensuring Animal Welfare In The Value Chain
Pat and Mike Lenhart
Storm Lake, Iowa
Every year, roughly 1.3 million turkeys spend their first weeks of life on the Lenhart brothers’ farm. The brooder facility raises poults from the day they hatch through four weeks of age, when they are sent to a finishing site.
This volume requires tight process control, which today is aided by automation. For example, water and feed lines activate only when birds are nearby, and sensors let the Lenharts know when levels are low or the barn temperature is too hot or cold. This information serves as an early-warning system. “If the birds aren’t drinking as much water as they should, that can be an early sign of illness,” Mike Lenhart explains. “Monitoring their intake helps us get ahead of problems and keep our birds healthy.”
For the Lenharts, this is a perfect example of their farming philosophy. “It used to be that everybody knew somebody who was a farmer,” says Pat. “Now, there are fewer and fewer of us, so many people no longer know how farming operates.”
“Technology has changed the way we do things. But what’s stayed the same is how we make decisions: always with the best interests of the animal in mind.”