In kitchens across the country, turkeys are being toiled over at this hour in preparation for the big Thanksgiving dinner. Millions of those big browning birds came from the Hawkeye State, according to Gretta Irwin, spokeswoman for the Iowa Turkey Federation.This year, Iowa will have raised about eight-point-two million turkeys, a slight increase from last year, ranking Iowa ninth in the U.S. in turkey production and fifth in turkey processing. There are more than 85 family farms in Iowa raising that tremendous number of feathered fowl, while three major plants process them in Postville, Storm Lake and West Liberty.Irwin says many Iowa grocery chains buy turkeys from the Iowa plants and they’ll carry the “Taste of Iowa” logo to insure they were raised and processed here. She says Iowa produces far more turkeys than Iowans could possibly consume, so value-added products are key.Iowa exports many millions of turkeys to other countries like Russia and Mexico as well as all across the U.S. and through restaurant chains like Subway and Arby’s.
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