Holidays are a busy time for turkey farmers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The holiday season ensures a busy time of year for turkey farmers and 2016 has been no exception. Bowman and Landes Turkeys of New Carlisle  have been specializing in free-range gourmet turkeys since 1948 and the tradition continues today.“In our business, we have a lot of focus on the whole turkey market for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is definitely what we would consider our busy season. We hire a bunch of additional employees to help us get through it,” said Drew Bowman, part of the third generation involved in the business. “We have a large focus on providing whole turkeys, breasts, and roasts for the grocers of the world. But we also work with the food service side — restaurants, colleges, catering — so we have a year-round business as well.”With catering to such a niche sector of the market, Bowman commented on the state of their business.“It’s been going well for us,” he said. “We do not raise commodity turkeys per say, we are raising our turkeys free range and they’re never given any antibiotics and they’re raised on an all vegetable fed diet with no animal byproducts. Certainly not the cheapest turkey around, but we think we have the best quality turkey out there. The demand is high for them.”The nature of any animal product meant for the holidays means the business has to get in the holiday spirit a bit earlier than most.“We’re raising a lot of our turkeys starting in the summer months, but when it really starts to pick up here is late October basically through Christmas. That’s absolutely our busiest season,” Bowman said. “That’s when we’re processing the turkeys and doing all of our packaging and distribution. The turkeys take between 16 and 20 weeks to raise, so we’re raising those all throughout the summer and fall and we normally raise some turkeys in the wintertime as well. We definitely stay busy all year around, but predominantly mid-October through December is certainly our busiest time of the year.”Bowman said in their dealings with the whole turkey market, they’ve found customers of theirs surprised by aspects of livestock farming that may seem natural to the more rural-inclined.“Just the care with which we raise our turkeys — not many people these days are raising their turkeys free-range,” Bowman said. “People can come to our farm and see our turkeys being raised in an environment where we raise some completely on our pastureland once they’re old enough, and others are raised in barns with access to go outside. A lot of people in this day and age are really surprised and happy to see that.”last_img