LETTER- Online report on turkey shed fire unfair

It was only 20 words long, but your May 22 online news item "11,000 turkeys die in fire" did your readers and Virginia's poultry farms a disservice.

Your dismissive reference to the "Elkton-area factory farm building" serves to sustain confusion among the nonfarming public about the difference between poultry farms, where turkeys and chickens are raised, and poultry processing facilities.

It also discredits the efforts of farming families statewide to take care of their birds. U.S. annual per capita poultry consumption has risen from 34 pounds in 1960 to 100 pounds today, and the United State exports almost 6 billion pounds of poultry each year.

That's a lot of turkeys and chickens, and you can't raise them in little backyard coops.

Edward A. Scharer
Vice President, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation