Celebrating Thanksgiving: a look at where our turkeys come from
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - In celebration of Thanksgiving, here are five quick facts about America's turkey industry:
- The U.S. is the world’s largest turkey producer and largest exporter of turkey products. About 242 million turkeys are forecast to be grown on American farms in 2014, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
- Minnesota will raise an estimated 45 million of those turkeys this year, the most of any state in the country. That's about eight times the human population in the state.
- Minnesota will process more than a billion pounds of turkey this year, with a total value of more than $800 million.
- One of the nation's largest turkey producers is owned by Austin-based Hormel Foods. Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc. has six locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota, including one in Faribault. The National Turkey Federation estimates the company produced nearly 1.3 billion pounds of turkey in 2012, making it the second largest processor in the country.
- There are also more than 7 million wild turkeys across the country, thanks in part to habitat restoration efforts by a number of federal and state agencies. Wild turkeys nearly faced extinction in the 1930s.