Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-Calif.) today announced the formation of a new, bipartisan Congressional Chicken Caucus in the House of Representatives.
The caucus will serve as a formal group of members whose mission is to educate members of Congress and others about the history, contributions and issues of importance to U.S. chicken producers, pertaining to food safety, international trade, labor, animal welfare, immigration and environmental issues, among others.
“The chicken industry is vital to the economy of the Third District of Arkansas, which is why I am proud to co-chair the Congressional Chicken Caucus, alongside Representative Costa, with whom I share a longstanding bipartisan relationship,” said Rep. Womack. “We look forward to growing the caucus’ membership, working together to educate members, and advancing the issues that are important to the U.S. chicken industry.”
“The poultry industry plays a critical role in the economy of California’s 16th Congressional District and the greater San Joaquin Valley,” added Rep. Costa. “We are home to the largest poultry processor in the West and the 5th largest in the country, which provides nearly 5,000 district jobs. As such, I am honored to be Co-Chair of the Congressional Chicken Caucus. I look forward to working with my good friend Rep. Steve Womack in providing a platform on which issues pertaining to the poultry industry can be addressed.”
Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council, noted, “I want to thank Representatives Womack and Costa for spearheading the continued development of the Congressional Chicken Caucus and working to grow its membership in the early stages of this 114th Congress. Under their leadership, this bipartisan caucus will continue to serve as a hub for members to discuss common issues of interest, host Capitol Hill briefings and amplify the voice of U.S. chicken producers.”
U.S. chicken producers are responsible for more than 300,000 jobs – 280,000 directly and 25,000 family farmers – that produce products worth a wholesale value of $60 billion with major operations in more than 30 states. In 2014, U.S. chicken production was responsible for as much as $348.8 billion in total economic activity throughout the country, creating or supporting as many as 1,339,875 total jobs in chicken production and in supplier and ancillary industries. Although chicken farms and processing plants may not be located in every district, the industry’s induced economic impact can be felt in every sector of the U.S. economy, in every state and every congressional district.