Kavi Story Ideas

Franklin County is the top producer in the poultry industry within Georgia. When I heard this, I could not be more excited because I have been wanting to do – for so long now – a project that highlights a chicken farmer’s life. I know this sounds absurd and I probably sound kind of weird right now, but I’ve never really had a chance to just stop life and just indulge on storytelling for a whole weekend– especially a story that is so close to my heart.

 

I could talk chickens for days because after having lived on multiple chicken farms for about 10 years now, there are so… so many stories behind farming that just aren’t told.

 

It’s just meat, right? There’s really nothing glorifying about waking up at 6 AM, riding the four wheeler out to the farm, checking each house to make sure the feed is running and the correct amount of fans are on, but I’m sure that it’s a life story that could go untold as the world devours the new spicy Chick-Fil-A nuggets and knows nothing of the life of the farmer who devotes all of his time to those chicken.

 

And it’s a touchy subject – something like farming and slaughtering animals – and PETA always has something to say about chicken farmers keeping the chicken too cramped or killing them just to meet quota when the reality of these farms (the farms I’m going to visit and interview) is the exact opposite.

I want to hear it from the farmers themselves. I wonder if they are as serious as farming as my dad, who doesn’t even leave the farm for Thanksgiving dinners or vacations.  I have contact information for farmers who my dad got me in contact with as well as farms that Tyson’s supervisors helped me with. I did some scouting myself, too, so that I could get a very wide range of farmers and from different companies. I want to visit at least four farms – and I really want to visit at least one Vietnamese family.

 

Our chicken farm supervisor (in Americus, GA) says that around 60% of chicken farmers in southwest Georgia are Vietnamese and I find this fascinating. This could potentially be a theme, but I also just want diversity within my project.

One family I talked with doesn’t know much English, so I could do subtitles if I choose to interview them – I’m not sure if you would like that, but that could be another element I could tackle – a language barrier and what that could do to the business.

 

While I know that this is going to be a 3-5 minute audioslide, I would really love to shoot some video and, one day, make this a project that goes across Georgia to talk about the poultry industry. I think that getting contacts for the rest of Georgia would be so easy after I already talk to the state’s top producers.

Two people have agreed for me to come into the farm with them, as I assured them I have plenty of experience, though one farm said “we’ll see”… Do you think that it would be okay for me to have multiple farmers from different farms in my audioslide, or should I keep it at one so it’s not confusing?

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10 Responses to Kavi Story Ideas

  1. Patty says:

    I would LOVE to see an audio slideshow with subtitles. Add trying to make it as a chicken farmer on top of trying to adjust to life in a country you weren’t born in, and that’s a story. Maybe I’m biased. Whatever. Do it.

  2. Heather Pitts says:

    You did not give me multiple stories to choose from…However, I do like this. I would stick to one though. The time will go quickly.

  3. Lexi Deagen says:

    I think if you could delve into the personal life of a farmer and get them to speak about the hardships of their job, maybe even being under appreciated, it could be a very touching story!

  4. Mark E. Johnson says:

    So do you have a Vietnamese family in Franklin County? If so, taking that approach would be great – localizing a state-wide story. We hear a lot about minorities working in farms, but it’s almost always Hispanic families.

    One farm would have more of a focus to it, not saying don’t do more than one, but remember you’ll need to tie it all together. How will access to the chicken houses be?

    And it may turn out you don’t need that if you look at the culture of working on the farms instead of the farming itself.

  5. jabanes says:

    I really like the idea of going in depth on chicken farmers. I’d say given the time we have to work on this, as well as the length of the audio slideshow, I would suggest sticking to one farm. I would rather hear a story with depth than 2 or 3 stories that scratch the surface.

  6. I think you might want to stick to one farm as well, so the chicken farmer gets more comfortable with you and you can go more in depth on your story. Love the idea though.

  7. David Bristow says:

    If there is a Vietnamese farmer in Franklin Co., thats a cool angle to take. I, too, would stick to only one farm(er), though. Any good story needs details: I would not sacrifice depth for breadth.

  8. Damien Salas says:

    The chicken farm sounds great. Visually, it will have a lot of pattens, without being too repetative. I bet chicken farmers have excellent portrait faces, and since their day begins so early, you can use the glorious morning sun in Franlkin to light them.

  9. It looks like you have a ton of experience with chicken farms! I think that will really bring out a new kind of story since you have the knowledge to go deeper with questions! They will probably feel more comfortable with you too since you have experience — I like it!

  10. Yes! Love this! If you do know of a Vietnamese family, I think covering that in depth would be idea, but covering multiple families dealing with similar issues could also be powerful. It all depends on what you’d like to focus on.

    I took a class called Anthropology of Food, and the course focused on the industrial food system. Since then I have become very interested in the stories of the people behind the mass production. We learned that many chicken farmers live in overwhelming debt, and the only option to fight it is to continue signing contracts with the corporations. When Shane mentioned that the chicken farmers often give their children chicken houses upon graduation, I wondered if there might be deeper financial issues surrounding this practice. This could be an interesting element to bring into your story, but it could also be difficult to get that information.

    Anyway, I am SO glad you’re doing this and can’t wait to see what you find! I motion that you should be excused from class this week and get started on your story now!!

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