GEORGETOWN, Del. — The Delmarva Chicken Association has announced the recipients of its Outstanding Grower awards, honoring 10 farm families in Delmarva’s chicken community with recognition as exemplary farmers raising broiler chickens. Each grower is an independent farmer raising chickens under contract for one of Delmarva’s five chicken companies.
“Time and again, Delmarva chicken growers serve as examples for the chicken community and the nation,” said Holly Porter, DCA’s executive director.
“When growers stand and speak at meetings and public hearings, their voices command attention and respect. When they share their everyday rewards and challenges on social media, they help people who never set foot on a farm understand how chickens are raised. And they are valued in their communities by all who understand their roles as stewards of the land.”
The following growers were honored:
- Jay Bonk, a Laurel, Del., grower who operates two chicken houses and raises chickens for Amick Farms
- Shane Cohee, a Hurlock, Md., grower with three chicken houses who raises chickens for Allen Harim
- Jason and Courtney Dryden, Westover, Md., growers with eight chicken houses who grow for Mountaire Farms
- Andy and Bonnie Lewis, Newark, Md., growers operating two chicken houses who produce chickens for Tyson
- Lemston McCrea, a Laurel, Del., grower whose two chicken houses produce chicken for Perdue Farms
- Brenda and Keith Powell of Milford, Del., who operate six chicken houses and grow for Mountaire Farms
- Rick and Diane Smith of Pittsville, Md., who operate two chicken houses and grow for Mountaire Farms
- John Swartzentruber of Bridgeville, Del., whose two chicken houses produce birds for Mountaire Farms
- Tonya Timmons, a Snow Hill, Md., grower with two chicken houses who raises chickens for Perdue Farms
- Amy Tran, a Westover, Md., grower with five chicken houses who grows for Amick Farms
The Outstanding Grower awards were presented during the Booster BBQ, an event at the Delaware State Fairgrounds and the Delmarva chicken community’s first major gathering since 2019.
More than 800 DCA members and others in the chicken community attended the event, which featured barbecued chicken prepared and served by Greenwood Volunteer Fire Company and Harrington Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, 35 vendors, and a musical performance by country artist and Ocean City, Md. native Jimmy Charles.
The growers received silver Revere bowls and were recognized on stage at the Booster BBQ. They also received lane signs that can be displayed at the entrances to their farms acknowledging them as outstanding poultry producers.