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Did You Hear, We Need Big Ag! July 10, 2013

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

If you know me, you know I often say, “We need all agriculture. We need small, medium and large farms and ranches. We need organic and conventional methods of farming, we need it all!” And, if you hang out with me you might think I sound like a broken record because I say it often.

But our need for all types of agriculture and especially “Big Ag” was brought home to me the last time I toured Hickman’s Family Farms, a big family agriculture operation. Hickman’s is our only large commercial egg producer in the state.

The Hickman family has focused on transforming the original “backyard” egg operation (that started 69 years ago) into a 6.5 million hen enterprise with farms in Arizona, California and Colorado. They serve customers certainly in Arizona but also as far east as Nebraska and as far west as Hawaii.

To understand the volume of eggs they must produce and deliver on a daily basis, I share with you the numbers from just one of their farm’s hen barns, the Arlington North barns from a handout that was handed to me on the tour.

In one day at Arlington, the Hickman chicks are …

This is “Big Ag” and it’s needed. When we think of just our daily, weekly or monthly intake of eggs we can’t imagine such volume. But multiply that out by how many Arizonans eat eggs or other foods with eggs in them, then we can understand why we need some of our Arizona farm families to produce at greater volumes.

I’m grateful for a farm family like the Hickmans that makes sure I have daily access to fresh, healthy and yummy eggs. It helps that I’ve gotten to know them over the years.

And, it’s great to know it’s a family affair at Hickman’s Family Farm.

 

 

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