Crane Creek Farms

Sanderson Farms Family Farmers Named Finalists in Environmental Excellence Awards

Ever since he was old enough to drive a tractor on his Daddy’s farm, Tyler Bass has known no other way of life than farming. As an adult now with three young children of his own, he hopes to inspire the same passion for agriculture in the next generation of the Bass family that his Dad inspired in him at such an early age.

Managing a poultry, hog, cattle, row crop and produce operation certainly requires passion and hard work to be successful, which is why farming is truly a family affair for Bass, his wife of 12 years, Janna, and their three sons under the age of seven. To be exact, Crane Creek Farms in Clinton, North Carolina manages six broiler chicken houses, 15,000 hogs, a cattle farm, row crops, as well as a produce operation.

Graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in agronomy with a concentration in agricultural business management, Bass sought a diverse farming opportunity and knew Sanderson Farms was recruiting growers for its new poultry facility in Kinston, North Carolina in 2011. Over a decade later, Crane Creek Farms produces everything from cantaloupe, corn and soybeans to hogs, cows and chickens.

“As farmers, we feel we have a duty to produce safe and nutritious food for our communities, as well as to be good neighbors and members of the community,” said Bass. “Our family not only farms here, but we also live here, raising the next generation on the farm. We want our communities to thrive, and in many regards, that begins with education about how to farm sustainably and protect the environment we live in.”

For the Bass family, that includes incorporating innovative technology into their farming practices such as water conservation and LED lighting in their poultry houses, poultry litter management, organic row and vegetable crop fertilization, composting, as well as planting grass crops to reduce soil erosion in their cattle pastures.

“Preventing over application of nutrients to our crops and land is very important to us,” said Bass. “We want to protect the quality and well-being of the soil for generations to come. With three young boys, I want to be able to pass down this way of life to them. From waterways to the soil we stand on to the air we breathe, it all needs protecting, not just for our farm’s vitality, but for the health of others in communities around the world.”

The Bass family’s dedication to environmental conservation on their farm has not gone unnoticed as they were recently recognized as a finalist for the Mid-Atlantic region in the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s 2022 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Awards. In addition to the five award winners chosen from each geographic region like Sanderson Farms family farmers, Donald and Danielle Urbanovsky, the association also nominated five finalists in their competition who received honorable mentions.

Two of those five finalists were Sanderson Farms family farmers representing the states of Mississippi and North Carolina, where the Bass’ family farm is located. The remaining three competition finalists representing other poultry producers and associations include the South Central region finalist, the Gabel Farm of Galena, Missouri; the Southwest region finalist, the KD Farm of Stillwell, Oklahoma; and the State Poultry Association finalist, the Triple Cross Farm of Mayfield, Kentucky.

“With so many removed from farming, it’s more important than ever to tell the story of the farmer and to help others understand what we do and why we do it,” said Bass. “This awards program allows us to continue to gain new insight on best practices and benchmark our efforts among our peers as we continuously strive to become stronger producers practicing environmental excellence and benefiting consumers. I am privileged to be a poultry producer, and I enjoy sharing my passion for agriculture and the poultry industry with others.”