Grower of the Month - January 2014

Medlock Farms in Elba, Alabama
Grower of the month

Spotlight on Medlock Farms in Elba, Alabama

Pete Medlock, owner of Medlock Farms near Elba, Alabama, has been selected Pilgrim's Grower of the Month for January 2013. Located 15 miles outside of Elba, Medlock Farms sits right between the Enterprise plant and the hatchery, about three miles from each. According to Enterprise service technician Daron Warren, Medlock is a great nominee for the award. "For Pete, it's not just a hobby, it's a business," states Warren.

Warren has a high opinion of Pete, speaking about his good personality, as well as his good work ethic. Daron says Pete, "always takes care of business," and that he is consistently a top performer. Pete has been in the poultry business as a breeder producer for 4 ½ years, the last 15 months with Pilgrim's. During that time, he has proven himself a valued partner. Enterprise Breeder Manager Greg Lay states, "I can think of no one who is more deserving of this nomination than Pete Medlock."

A Growing Enterprise

Medlock Farms currently consists of two 40 x 450 foot houses, but growth is underway. Two additional houses are under construction, each 40 x 500 feet. Scheduled to be completed by the end of April, Medlock hopes to have them filled with birds by May. To accommodate this increase in the scale of his operation, Medlock's workforce will grow, as well. When all four houses are operational and at capacity, Medlock Farms will need the help of three employees, two full time and one part time, to make operations run smoothly.

Medlock spends around twelve hours every day taking care of his chickens. Waking up at 5:30 every morning, his first stop is the chicken house, checking on his flock. Egg gathering commences at 7:00, and the rest of Pete's day is spent in the houses. Finishing up around five each evening, Pete repeats the process daily. Eggs are then picked up and delivered to the Enterprise hatchery twice a week.

The Road to Poultry

After spending twenty years managing a building supply store, farming seemed a smart career move. "I've been around farming all my life," states Medlock, who has worked on the farms of friends over the years. When the building supply business started to slow down, chicken looked like a good opportunity. Medlock thought it would be valuable to go into business for himself, stating, "I control my own destiny." He says, "I've always heard you make more money working for yourself, and I'm finding it to be true."

Pete and his wife, Eva, a magistrate in the city of Elba, have one daughter, Casey. Proud of his daughter's accomplishments, Pete is happy to tell about Casey's full ride scholarship to Sanford University in Birmingham, AL. After graduating from Sanford, Casey went on to complete her MBA at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She currently teaches high school Spanish in Tuscaloosa.

Lighting the Way

During the construction of his new chicken houses, Medlock researched and discovered a very important energy saving upgrade. Breeder chickens require 16 ½ hours of light every day. To minimize energy consumption and gain cost savings, Medlock will have LED lighting installed in the new houses, with an expected savings of 55% per flock over CFL lighting. Realizing the impact of this upgrade, Medlock plans to have LED lighting installed in his two older houses in the near future, as well.

Poultry has become a way of life for Pete and Eva Medlock, who are now members of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. Medlock is enthusiastic about his career and enjoys working with Greg and Daron. "I give Greg and Daron all the credit for how I perform. I take all their suggestions. Enterprise plant has great people. I've enjoyed every second."

Grower of the month logo
2014 Growers of the Month

January 2014
Medlock Farms in Elba, Alabama

2013 Growers of the Month

December 2013
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November 2013
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March 2013
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April 2012
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