Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Nolan Lister
Independent Record 

Family farms and ranches face uncertain future as producers age out


June 18, 2020

Thom Bridge/Independent Record

Hugh Spencer, 68-year-old old poultry farmer near Plains, Mont., checks on one of his three chicken barns where he raises about 6,000 chickens for egg production.

The 68-year-old old poultry farmer pointed out the hen houses he built decades ago, providing details of each wooden tenement's residents.

Hugh Spencer built the hen houses and accompanying grain bins, which look like high-density housing for chickens, shortly after he and his wife Viki purchased the land in 1981.

Spencer's 48-week-old hens are kept in the northernmost house. The pullets (or young hens) are kept in the center house. The veteran, 90-week-old hens huddle together in the southernmost house.

Spencer makes the walk from his and his wife's stately home only a few miles north of P...

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Reader Comments(1)

ambrosia writes:

Informative article about the plight of small family-operated farms. We all need to take notice.


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