Midwest Center hosts first dinner and docs

Farmers, chicken enthusiasts and community members came together to eat dinner and watch a documentary at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting’s event Dinner and Docs held June 18 The City Center in Champaign, Illinois.

The documentary was a Netflix film called “Rotten: Big Bird,” which shows “the ruthlessly efficient world of chicken production pits vulnerable growers against each other and leaves them open to vicious acts of sabotage,” according to Netflix.

Chicken farming hobby highlights changing industry

Sonja Solomonson is in the minority of farmers who produce chicken and other poultry. She lives on a small farm with a small flock, while her competitors raise thousands of birds, contracted with one of the major agribusiness companies.

Five companies — Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms, Perdue Farms and Koch Foods — produce 61% of the chickens Americans eat, about nine billion per year, which doesn’t leave much room for alternative methods of farming birds.

Join us for dinner and a movie; we want your questions

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is hosting its first Dinner and Docs event on June 18. It will be an evening of dinner, a documentary and discussion around U.S. chicken production. The event will also highlight how the media covers issues of food and farming.