James Page Named S.C. Poultry Federation Grower Of Year

James Page has been named the S.C. Poultry Federation Grower of the Year.

The Judging Criteria include a conscious participant in environmental stewardship, involved in community service projects, exhibits leadership, and cares about the future of poultry and agriculture in South Carolina.
James Page grew up on a tobacco farm in Lake View, SC. A small little town approximately 50 miles from Myrtle Beach that is known for the beautiful Cyprus tree adorned lake that gave the town its name. After graduating from Clemson in 2000 with a degree in finance James decided to return home to continue his family’s farming tradition.
James quickly diversified from producing tobacco to producing poultry through the purchase of his first farm in 2001. He has since expanded with an additional farm for a total of 10 houses that produce approximately 279,000 birds per production cycle. Not only does James meticulously manage his poultry operation but he also helps his father–in-law law and uncle–in–law with their four-house farm. In addition to the poultry houses, James also farms 1000 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans with his family.
James and his wife Meredith are the proud parents of 4 children ranging in ages from 12 down to 6. They both understand the importance of being good stewards of the land and being good stewards in their community. It is this good stewardship that they hope will leave not just the land but the community better for their children.
To be good stewards of the land, James ensures good environmental practices are used in both the poultry farming and the row crop farming operations. The chicken houses have had gutters installed to allow for underground water run-off to eliminate soil erosion. The houses are kept up-to-date with new equipment to maximize efficiency. James monitors his houses for any production related issues and performs daily maintenance on the farm. In the row crop operation, no till farming is practiced decreasing the amount of overall soil erosion. Cover crop planting is practiced allowing for natural recuperation of soil and crop rotation is practiced ensuring good soil husbandry.
James not only ensures that he is a good environmental steward but also a good steward of the poultry in his care. He understands that it is his responsibility to ensure that the birds in his care are raised humanely and given the best environment possible. James manages his farms to provide a high-quality product for the marketplace. A farm this size requires good employees. When asked how he manages so many houses and performs so well he is quick to give recognition to his employees. As a good manager James recognizes the importance and value of his employees and appreciates the fact that it takes a good team to have a successful operation.
James and Meredith are also good stewards of their community. They are active members of Bear Swamp Baptist Church in Lake View, SC. He serves his church as a deacon, treasurer and on various committees. James and Meredith give back to their community through annual distribution of school supplies for the local children, annual Thanksgiving meal preparation and distribution to the less fortunate and disabled members of the community. They also visit the sick and elderly to help bring them some comfort and strive to help improve the lives of people in their community.
James’ stewardship is not limited to his Lake View community. He is also a member of the Dillon County Farm Service Agency County Council and served on the inaugural Perdue Farmer Council to help improve the working relationship with our contract farmers.
James has also taken leadership in defending our industry and helping to educate the public through participation in our first annual Animal Care Summit and used this opportunity to help educate animal welfare groups on the importance of the poultry farmer. He has also educated the public through interviews regarding the care and pride that a poultry farmer has in each flock that is grown.
James and Meredith demonstrate everyday their dedication and devotion to doing things right so that the next generation can continue the family farming tradition.
They give back not only to their farm but to the community and to the industry. When asked his thoughts on the future of agriculture in SC, James gave this response: “I was born and raised working on my father’s family farm, and now, I am the father of a son growing up in the same industry. These strong family ties make farming that much more important to me. Farming is essential to the prosperity of our country and should be treated as such. Many people have lost touch with the importance of the duties of the farmer, and as a result, lack appreciation for what we do each and every day. We feed the world and we do so with a feeling of accomplishment and great pride. There are many stumbling blocks that we navigate through with each flock, and every year there are changes and setbacks in the life of a farmer, but we persevere and move forward, learning and growing. My hope is that I leave the land and industry better off than it was when I began this business. There would be no greater feeling than any or all of my children to enter into this business and pass it on to the next generation for years and years to come.”