Farmers work hard every day to produce the food you and your family enjoy. There are, unfortunately, misconceptions and misinformation about how meat is produced in the U.S.
The truth is, farmers are committed to providing you with safe, nutritious and affordable food and caring for our animals and land. And you can be assured that raising healthy turkeys is the #1 priority of Minnesota turkey farmers and their families.
- The majority of turkeys in the U.S. are raised in barns that are environmentally-controlled and scientifically-designed to keep the birds comfortable and to protect them from predators, disease and inclement weather.
- Turkeys are fed a balanced diet of corn, soybeans and essential vitamins and minerals at every stage of their life. Fresh water and feed are available at all times.
- Turkey farmers do not feed their turkeys hormones or steroids. (In fact, all poultry in the U.S. is raised with no added hormones or steroids.)
- Much like you and I, most turkeys are treated with antibiotics as needed when they aren’t feeling well. Turkey farmers consider it inhumane to not treat a sick animal. (Turkeys labeled antibiotic-free at the supermarket, are not treated with antibiotics.)
- Minnesota’s turkey farmers and processing companies take very seriously their role in providing a safe, wholesome product to consumers. Every turkey processed is inspected by a USDA inspector.
- The labels you find on meat and poultry items do not reflect differences in food quality or safety. Labels only describe the way in which a meat or poultry product was raised or produced and, unfortunately, can be misleading. Here’s a brochure that helps explains what these meat and poultry labels mean:
Turkey Farming is Sustainable
- The litter (manure) turkeys generate is used as a fertilizer for cropland and it improves the quality of the soil and its ability to hold carbon.
- Some turkey farmers send their turkey litter to a power plant in Benson, MN, where it is burned to generate electricity.
- Energy conservation is very important to turkey farmers. Increasingly, LED Lighting is used in turkey barns.
- Turkey farmers feed more people using less resources than ever before.
- Turkeys today produce twice as much meat with half as much feed compared to the 1930s (see graphic at right).
- Because of the world’s anticipated population growth, food demand is expected to increase 100% by 2050. Turkey farmers will continue to develop and utilize efficiency-improving technology to ensure they will help feed the people on our planet.
Turkey Farmers are Good Neighbors and Good Stewards of the Land
- Minnesota’s turkey farmers are required to meet a variety of environmental stands and follow all permitting, siting and other related statues.
- Protecting water quality is vital to our state. That’s why Minnesota’s turkey farmers currently are funding research at the University of Minnesota that studies the effects of run-off from farms and city stormwater on a lake in west central Minnesota. Results are showing that farmers are utilizing the proper practices to protect our important natural resources. View Research Report