On the official day for consumption of turkey, just how healthy is the turkey industry in Indiana? According to the Indiana State Poultry Association Executive Vice President Paul Brennan, Indiana ranks near the top of U.S. states producing the birds.
“I can tell you that Indiana is the third largest turkey producing state and that has taken a recent leap forward as one of our companies has added an additional cutting edge plant. It’s a beautiful plant they’ve added and are growing the production capacity to fill that very rapidly.”
So with a number 3 national ranking, that means the bird in your oven or on your table is likely from Indiana, right? Wrong, says Brennan.
“The turkeys produced in Indiana are far and away primarily toms and they’re grown for further processing. So you won’t find many whole birds produced in Indiana. There are some, many fine small establishments that produce whole birds, but by far and away the turkey population in Indiana goes to further processed products. The birds are generally in the 35-40 pound range. You might see some of the Indiana turkey on the table if some of the cuts are used, but if you’re looking at whole bird it’s more than likely to be coming from another area of the country.”
Brennan says historically the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods were the most important for turkey producers, but the industry has grown and evolved with year-long demand now. He told HAT the holidays do still see “a bit of a surge” in turkey demand.
Indiana also ranks 3rd in egg production and is the number one duck-producing state.
This week his association again donated, for the 67th consecutive year, poultry products at the statehouse for distribution to Hoosier food banks. Governor Mike Pence accepted the donation of 65 tons of poultry.
Learn more from Brennan in the HAT interview:Paul Brennan talks turkeys