News Release

For Immediate Release

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association

Tucker, Ga. - February 27, 2024

Gwen Venable, 678.514.1971,, (USPOULTRY)
Benjamin Starkey, 770.635.9057,, (USPOULTRY)

Isbell Family Farms Recognized for Environmental Excellence by USPOULTRY

Isbell Family Farms of Mayfield, Ky. was one of six farms across the United States to receive U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award during the 2024 International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta. U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) sponsors the annual awards in recognition of exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.

Applicants were rated in several categories, including nutrient management planning, implementation of novel sustainability practices, community involvement, innovative litter or manure management techniques, and participation in education or outreach programs. Applications were reviewed and farm visits conducted by a team of environmental professionals from universities, regulatory agencies and state poultry associations.

Tyler and Sarah Isbell raise 292,800 chickens per flock for Tyson Foods. In 2014, the Isbells began their career as poultry producers by purchasing a six-house farm, only to sell it four years later to build a new eight-house farm. Early on, the Isbells saw litter management as a critical process that requires continuous attention throughout the life of the flock. A key part of their success is careful monitoring of water lines. Variable flow pumps have been installed to ensure a gradual increase in water line pressure, leading to drier litter. Appropriate ventilation is also applied faithfully to ensure an optimal environment for the birds and to improve litter quality.

The Isbells further manage their litter by storing the litter removed from the poultry houses in a covered litter shed until it can be applied. Additionally, they utilize a series of composting bins to manage mortality in an environmentally friendly way.

Erosion control measures have also been widely implemented on the Isbell farm. Extra attention was given to controlling stormwater during the initial construction phases. Rock stormwater drainage chutes were constructed to control the discharge of large volumes of water draining between the poultry houses. Ongoing efforts to control erosion include the installation of silt screens, grading work, placement of gravel and establishing vegetation. During the summer months, ground cover around the poultry houses is irrigated to maintain grass in an effort to prohibit further erosion.

Mike Levengood, vice president, Chief Animal Care Officer and Farmer Relationship Advocate for Perdue Farms, past USPOULTRY chair and current USPOULTRY board member, presented the award to Sarah and Tyler Isbell. 


U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is the All Feather Association progressively serving its poultry and egg members through research, education, communications and technical services. Founded in 1947, USPOULTRY is based in Tucker, Georgia.

Sarah and Tyler Isbell received the USPOULTRY Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award at the 2024 International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta. They were presented with an award to display at the entrance to their farm and a $1,000 check by Mike Levengood (left), vice president, Chief Animal Care Officer and Farmer Relationship Advocate for Perdue Farms, past USPOULTRY chair and current USPOULTRY board member.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association

More Recent News