From the 1957 Annual Report of the School of Agriculture, N.C. State College, Raleigh
Poultry has grown from a backyard enterprise to the State’s number two income producer in the past 25 years.
In 1934, we produced less than one million broilers. We produced more than 104 million in 1957. Half of this gain of more than 100 million birds was made in the past five years. Production in 1953 was less than 51 million broilers.
Income from broilers during this period has climbed from less than a half million dollars annually in 1934 to $58 million in 1957. In many areas broiler income has become a very vital part of the community’s total economy.
Egg production has more than trebled in the past 20 years. As late as 1941 we imported half as many eggs as we produced. Not until 1956 did our total egg production more than equal our consumption. In 1957, our production of more than five million cases of eggs was 585,374 cases more than estimated consumption.
Turkey production as more than doubled in the past six years. Last year’s estimated production of about 1,800,000 head was nearly 40 per cent more than for 1956.
Thus, our poultry industry has grown to the point where we are no longer producing only for ourselves. Now we must reach for out-of-state markets. In so doing, poultry can bring extra dollars into North Carolina.
This means that we must tailor future production increases to what these markets want and need. Unless we can satisfy consumers in the metropolitan, high-income areas—our new markets—we will not be able to hold them.
Throughout this period, Extension has promoted and grown with the poultry industry.