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 look 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. 

Farmers know more about the food system than anybody, and they should be part of developing a more sustainable one. Transfarmation offers a way for farmers to become part of the solution and leave the problem behind. 

Our goal is to help farmers, offering them resources to shift from industrial animal agriculture to growing plants. The result will be a better future for farmers and their families, consumers, animals, and the planet. Visit the Transfarmation website to learn more.

*Bo Halley died this year, leaving a legacy of change and hope to build on, not only for his family but for other farmers seeking a better, more sustainable way to support their families and communities.