Grower of the Month - January 2014
Medlock Farms in Elba, Alabama
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,"
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."