Delaware Senator Pitches Chicken Trade to Russia

Sen. Carper says, in Delaware, "C" is for chicken.

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Democratic Delaware Sen. Thomas Carper gave members of the Senate Finance Committee a Sesame Street-like lesson on the letter "C" today at a hearing discussing the president's 2011 trade agenda. Unlike probably everywhere else, however, "C" isn't for cookie in the First State.

Instead, he says it stands for the names of his fellow Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Rep. John Carney, his own last name, and also corn, chemicals, corporations, cars, credit cards, cargo aircraft, and the list goes on.

"The letter 'C' figures large in the state of Delaware," he says.

The biggest "C" of all in Delaware? "Chickens," since firms like Perdue, Allen, Tysons, Mountaire Farms, and others run poultry operations in the state, especially the southernmost Sussex County. Just consider a few tidbits from the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.: Approximately 73 percent of Delaware's cash farm income was from broiler chickens in 2009; Delaware ranked 8th among the states in the pounds of broilers produced in 2009 with 1,597,400,000 pounds; Delaware produced 231,500,000 broilers in 2009; the average live weight of a Delaware produced broiler was 6.9 pounds; and the 2009 total value of birds raised was $730,012,000.

And while on the subject of trade and chicken, Carper says he looks for a deal to open up United States poultry sales to Russia. "God Bless the Russians. They like dark meat, we like white meat. It's a marriage made in heaven," he says.

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