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Utah Turkey Farmers Expect a Good Year

Utah Turkey Farmers Expect a Good Year

Posted - Nov. 25, 2004 at 4:48 p.m.



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Sam Penrod ReportingA turkey was likely on your table as you celebrated Thanksgiving today, and that makes Utah's turkey growers very happy; Turkey Day is pay day in Sanpete County.

Utah's turkey capital is Sanpete County, where more than five million turkeys will be raised and sent to market this year.

Kent Barton, Moroni Feed Company: "We're the largest turkey cooperative in the United States, we're in our 66th year and our cooperative represents 65 individual family owned farms."

And it’s those family farms that makes Moroni Feed different from most turkey producers. Instead of the massive turkey operations in other states where many turkeys are raised in cages, turkeys grown here in Utah are on an open range. And Moroni Feed has a self-contained operation.

Kent Barton, Moroni Feed Company: "We have our own hatchery, our own breeder farms, so we produce the eggs, the farmers get the eggs, they grow the turkeys and then they are processed here at our facility in Moroni. Then we market under the Norbest label."

Norbest sells a variety of turkey products, besides whole birds which typically sell during the holidays. Overall, Utah ranks 12th in the nation of turkey producing states, and at Moroni Feed revenue this year looks good.

Kent Barton, Moroni Feed Company: "We expect a reasonably good year at Moroni Feed and in the industry in the turkey industry in general this year which will be welcome. We had a more difficult year last year, but more households are discovering turkey is a wonderful alternative to other meats that are out there."

And this weekend it's estimated that 90 percent of everyone in America will enjoy some turkey to celebrate thanksgiving, including all of us working today in the newsroom. Yes, our turkey today came right from Moroni and Sam even carved it himself.

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