Eric Hedrick was once the largest Pilgrim’s Pride poultry grower in West Virginia. He has also been an outspoken opponent of contract growing and an advocate for GIPSA reform. Consequently, he has become the target of retaliation. Eric likens poultry growing to a “lifetime of servitude.” He describes a perilous situation where few growers are willing to speak up due to the power the poultry companies. Fortunately, the Food Integrity Campaign (FIC) levels the playing field by representing Eric in court and in the media.
“I took a major risk in coming forward: most farmers in my situation are afraid to speak out against company wrongdoing because the poultry industry and its lobby are so powerful, but I believe farms should be able to stand good for themselves, contract farmers should be able to make a living without fear of company retaliation. I have funneled my life savings and my kids’ life savings into our farm just to stay afloat. This is not a hobby operation, this is my full-time job, my only job.”Eric Hedrick
To learn more about Eric’s story and legal claims, read his 2018 Complaint (PDF).