By: Kyla Kaplan
Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI) is a trade association representing the poultry community in Delaware, and the Eastern Shores of both Maryland and Virginia. However, DPI does a lot more than just represent the poultry operations in the region; DPI, with the help of James Fisher, also works to demystify how poultry is raised and processed.
“Very few people in America are farmers and very few have done a deep dive into how chicken gets to their plate,” Fisher explained. “It seems most people know very little about what farmers do, how flock advisors and veterinarians play a role, and basically how DPI’s $3.4 billion-dollar poultry economy is able to run smoothly.”
Fisher is a Maryland native who has lived on the Eastern Shore since 2003 and believes in the work that DPI does on a practical level to be involved with the community and teach.
Fisher spends a lot of his time talking with reporters, producing videos for social media, and attending events, such as the state fairs to meet as many people in his community as possible.
This year, DPI introduced a virtual reality tour of a poultry farm to show community members what it is like in a poultry house. “It blew a lot of people’s minds,” Fisher said, “it was well-received, and we got the reaction we had hoped for.”
Fisher emphasizes that DPI does not represent one piece of the poultry industry, but instead explained that DPI represents all aspects of the poultry industry with equal fervor. “We represented growers of chicken feed, growers of chicken, and at the same time press companies and ally companies to challenge their practices” and support good sustainable practices such as vegetative environmental buffers and good neighbor policies. Before Fisher worked for DPI, he was a reporter on Delmarva for thirteen years and joined DPI in 2016. He is passionate and involved in the work that he does day-to-day.
At the ALEI conference Fisher will speak on a panel titled, What is That Smell? Managing Neighbor Relations When Legal Issues Arise and an Update on Right to Farm Laws with Mayhah Suri, Keith Ohlinger, Lee Richardson. Fisher will address progress made in DPI’s partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Keith Campbell Foundation to add ambient air monitoring stations for particulate matter and ammonia to the Eastern Shore.
To learn more and hear from James Fisher, please attend the annual Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) Conference on November 14, 8:00am-3:00pm at the Crown Plaza in Annapolis, MD. You can register at https://go.umd.edu/aleiconf2019registration.