US (TX): Halley Farm transitions from raising chickens to growing hemp

As farmers for Pilgrim’s Pride, the Halleys raised six flocks of chickens a year - 192,000 birds per batch - for 30 years in 12 factory-style sheds at their family farm in Cookville, Texas. When faced with mounting financial and health troubles from chicken farming, Bo and Sam Halley decided to give up raising birds for good.

They teamed up with their sister, Devvie Deany, and her partner, Evan Penhasi, to switch to growing hemp. With support from Mercy For Animals’ Transfarmation project, the family has successfully completed their first hemp harvest and looks forward to expanding.

Mercy For Animals president Leah Garcés shared: "This is the very first successful transfarmation. There are 12 chicken houses, and they used to house tens of thousands of suffering animals, and now they are going to dry hemp. That is just so beautiful, to see the transformation, the possibilities that can come when people come together and try to find solutions. I am going to work hard to make the chicken houses turn into something that [farmers] can make money off of, that can sustain the land and their families. 

It is such a moment of creation and growth rather than destruction and death. And I just want to be a part of that." 


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