Show Your Support: June is National Turkey Lovers Month

06-01-2015 in Communications Internship

By: Haley Banwart, CSIF Communications Intern

Despite the avian influenza outbreak, farmers continue to raise safe, nutritious and tasty turkey that everyone can enjoy. In celebration of National Turkey Lovers Month, it is more important now than ever to demonstrate your support to Iowa’s turkey farmers!

Turkeys can be found on 130 family farms across the state. These family farms are responsible for producing 11 million turkeys each year, generating $1.5 billion to Iowa’s agricultural economy. Nationwide, Iowa ranks ninth in turkey production and fifth in turkey processing.

Iowa’s turkey industry provides job opportunities at processing plants located in Storm Lake and West Liberty. These facilities play a key role in preparing the 589 million pounds of turkey produced in the state for consumers year round.

In addition to the economic impact, turkey also serves as a great source of lean protein. For example, one three ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey provides 26 grams of protein, one gram of fat and zero grams of saturated fat.

Whether you prefer white or dark meat, turkey reigns as the number four protein choice among American consumers. Traditionally, turkey has been considered a holiday oriented product. Today the industry caters to consumer’s daily demands, and turkey sandwiches account for 48 percent of all turkey consumption.

Since 1970, U.S turkey production has increased 110 percent. Iowa’s farmers contribute to this rise in production using state of the art barns that are energy efficient, provide proper ventilation and protect the birds from Iowa’s fluctuating climate.

Although turkeys are raised indoors to prevent disease, sometimes the cautious measures taken are not enough to avoid an outbreak from occurring. Iowa’s farmers need your support through times of crises as they experience losses that are both financially and emotionally devastating.

There is no food safety risk associated with avian influenza. Turkey lovers can demonstrate their support to Iowa’s turkey famers by continuing to gobble up their favorite turkey recipes. In addition to your local grocery store, you can also find Iowa raised turkey at your nearby Subway and Jimmy John’s.

Keep Iowa turkey farmers and their families in your thoughts as you celebrate National Turkey Lovers Month. Without them, there would be no traditional Thanksgiving feast, turkey sandwiches or the famous smoked turkey leg enjoyed by many at the Iowa State Fair.

Visit http://iowaturkey.org/ for tasty turkey recipes and for more information about Iowa’s turkey industry.

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