The Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. is rebranding and will now be known as the Delmarva Chicken Association.
The name change was announced during a Nov. 12 virtual press conference.
The organization, founded nearly 75 years ago, is a 1,600-member trade association representing growers, processing companies, grain farmers and allied businesses that support the chicken industry throughout Delaware and Maryland, and Virginia's Eastern Shore.
“Becoming the Delmarva Chicken Association clarifies our pride in who we are, what we raise and produce, and the values we stand for as one of the largest chicken communities in the country,” said DCA Board of Directors President Dale Cook. “What not has changed is our commitment to our members.”
DCA Executive Director Holly Porter said the name change is part of the organization's five-year strategic plan. “We learned in that process that in order to grow and stay relevant, we needed to make clear we are the region’s representative of all things chicken, and then we needed to find a better way to convey that to all of our audiences. This new brand identity is an exciting tool to help us to do that,” she said.
She said the organization, based in Georgetown, has been focused on updating its brand to better reflect its mission for today’s consumers curious about where their chicken comes from, and to provide a connection to new chicken growers, allied businesses, industry professionals and other key stakeholders.
Porter said the word poultry can be awkward for people trying to gain information about the industry on Delmarva. Poultry includes not only chicken but turkeys, ducks and geese. “This change provides clarity of who we represent - who we are the voice of,” she said.
“We do not only represent the industry; that's only part of what we do,” said James Fisher, association communications manager. “We also speak for the growers.”
“Our chicken industry has changed and adapted dramatically over the past 70 years, and our organization has to do the same,” Porter said. “We have to make sure we are relevant as we provide the connection between growers, legislators, state agencies and allied businesses.”
Fisher said the strategic plan calls for the association to reach out and do more work with other organizations. “The rebranding makes connections and partnerships easier to get off the ground. It opens more doors,” he said.
Rebrand is a step forward
Porter said the components of the new logo include a yellow burst, symbolizing sunrise over the farm; the date 1948 as a reminder of the history of the association; the blue and gold colors representing the new and the old logo; a broiler facing to the future; and a circular seal representing the connections the association provides.
The logo was developed in a partnership with a.s.a.p. Ink of Lewes and Rus Design in Parsonsburg, Md.
She said original plans called for the association to unveil the rebranding during the annual April boosters banquet, which attracts up to 1,000 people. But COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting large gatherings forced the banquet to be canceled. “We wanted to unveil this before the end of the year as a positive affirmation to move forward,” she said.
“We're updating our website, newsletter, digital communications and social media, and there is much more to come,” Fisher said.
Founded in 1948 as Delmarva Chicken Festival Inc., and known since 1955 as Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., the organization was created to promote chicken sales, encourage the development of breeding, and organize an annual chicken cooking festival. The association's mission is to provide advocacy, education and member relations.
CHICKEN FACTS AND FIGURES
Sussex County is the No. 1 county in the country for chicken production
The ratio between chickens and people in Delaware is 200:1
In Delaware, it’s a $1.7 billion industry supporting more than 700 family farms
In Delaware, 70 cents of every $1 earned by farmers can be tied to the chicken industry
In 2019, Delmarva growers produced 609 million chickens with a value of $3.5 billion
On Delmarva, there are 1,325 growers with more than 5,100 chicken houses
The chicken house capacity on Delmarva is 145 million birds