After nearly a century, the creature-turned-commodity that transformed Maryland’s agricultural landscape—the humble chicken—is doing it once again.
A century ago, commercial chicken meat was virtually nonexistent. In 2015, Maryland produced 303 million chickens and more than 1.7 billion pounds of meat. This fact would astonish Wilmer Steele, the enterprising farm wife who, in 1923, wondered if selling chickens for meat might be a good idea. Her backyard experiment of raising chickens, not just eggs, to sell for the table took off. The result: today, chicken production is big business in Maryland. But along with it comes poultry manure—and lots of it. Read more...