For those who raise poultry, livestock and crops, farming is both their livelihood and their profession. And because farmers live where they work, farming is also a way of life. No one cares more deeply for the land or the animals they raise than farmers themselves, and farmers feel a deep responsibility for providing healthy, wholesome and safe food products to consumers.
For Minnesota’s turkey farmers and their families, raising healthy turkeys is the #1 priority.
- 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.)
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 follow all permitting, siting and other related statues.
Eating Turkey is Safe
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 to ensure the utmost quality product.
Consumers also play an important role in making sure food stays safe to eat. Here are some tips to remember:
- Don’t cross contaminate – keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods. Use one cutting board and knife for raw meat and another for fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Use a meat thermometer and be sure to cook your turkey product to 165 degrees F.
- Refrigerate promptly: Follow the “two hour rule” – refrigerate perishable foods within two hours at a refrigerator temperature of 40 degrees F. or below.
- You can place hot food directly in the refrigerator.
Labels Made Simple Brochure – Understanding meat and poultry labels in the supermarket