Skip to comments.Troops assess local poultry plant needs
Posted on 11/03/2009 4:48:19 PM PST by SandRat
BAGHDAD A chicken processing plant here recently received aid from U.S. Soldiers who lent their agriculture and engineering expertise to help open the doors.
North Carolina Guardsmen with 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, who have agribusiness and engineering backgrounds, visited the al-Kien plant near Mahmudiyah to offer advice and seek ways to help the plant begin operations.
Capt. Bobby Lumsden, the battalion's operations officer, walked through the plant with owner Rafea Abass Ali to inspect the plant's machinery and the massive coolers that will help keep poultry fresh. Getting the plant up and running will create a market for fresh chicken in the area, and provide farmers with a place to sell their chickens.
"This will be the only factory in the area with fresh frozen chicken," said Lumsden, a native of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. "Iraqis want very fresh chicken, but their choices right now are canned chicken or chicken that is imported."
The plant has the capacity to process 10,000 chickens a month and can employ up to 150 workers. Lumsden said the plant could boost the local economy and attract other investors to the area.
"It will open up this area for more agribusiness and, as we have studied, agribusiness brings more industry and factories," said Lumsden. "It will be the first step in the process to bring economic improvement to this whole area."
As Lumsden checked out the plant, he had help from two subject matter experts in engineering and agriculture.
First Lt. Joel Pierce is an engineering officer who owns a contracting company back home in Thomasville, N.C., and 2nd Lt. James Bowden, of Siler City, N.C., grew up on a large industrialized poultry farm.
What the officers discovered was that the only chicken hatchery in the area does not produce enough hens to meet the demand of hundreds of farmers in the area. They also discovered some improperly installed steel beams that are bending under the weight of cooling towers on the roof of the plant.
"There were issues about the structure supporting the cooling tower," said Lumsden. "They can operate right now, but they need to fix the I-beams and the ice machine."
Lumsden said the American Soldiers will continue to work with the Iraqis to help get the plant up and running. He said he hopes to see the plant processing chickens by the time the 30th HBCT redeploys in a few months.
"Time and time again, an economy has a proven to be the ultimate stabilizer in any country," said Lumsden. "This will be a great increase to the economy in the area by providing jobs and having an outlet for the farmers' products."
The al-Kien plant has come a long way and is close to beginning operations. The expertise offered by the National Guard Soldiers will help sow the seeds of peace and stability by increasing food choices and bringing jobs to Mahmudiyah.
When AMERICANS see a need we fill it.
Our TROOPS are the BEST!!!!!
“The plant has the capacity to process 10,000 chickens a month”
He77, the eastern shore of MD can lose a million a day if the temperature goes up and they start dying from lack of cooling. Wonder how many they produce in a week?
Googled and answered my own question, 283 million/year = 5.44 million/week, and there are states that produce a lot more.