Utah’s egg industry is being recognized by the state’s department of agriculture and food because of the quality of the product and the number of eggs produced.
Eggs are one of the few Utah agriculture products sold internationally. The popular poultry product is often shipped to neighboring states, Mexico and even Canada.
“We have white chickens and we have brown chickens. People are surprised to know generally a white chicken lays a white egg and a brown chicken lays a brown egg," said Cliff Lillywhite, co-owner and president of Oakdell Egg Farm.
Oakdell farm was founded more than a century ago when Cecil Woodward was gifted 10 chickens as a wedding gift. Today Oakdell Egg Farms raises egg-producing poultry in Utah, Idaho and Washington, which are then sold in 11 other states.
Oakdell Egg Farm is just one of the egg producers here in Utah that has contributed to Utah’s record egg production of 1.5 billion eggs back in 2018. To celebrate the producer’s achievements, Governor Gary Herbert declared November 1 Utah Egg Producer Day.
“That was a lot of fun," Lillywhite said. "The commissioner of agriculture was there and he invited three chef, blogger-type people there to bring a variety of deviled eggs they had made. Apparently, it was National Deviled Egg Day, I didn’t know there was such a thing but they have some really nice-looking deviled eggs and the commissioner of agriculture ate some of them to get us started in it.”
The day of an egg producer starts early when the chickens are laying their eggs. Inspections of equipment are done by USDA inspectors before processing begins.
“They are put in cartons according to how much they weigh. So, a large egg weight 24 oz., a medium is 18, you go up above that an extra-large is 27 oz. and a jumbo is 30 oz.”
Egg production contributes an estimated $75 million to Utah’s economy.