A spokesperson for the turkey industry in Iowa says things are going well as we approach the bird’s big holiday. Gretta Irwin, the executive director Iowa Turkey Federation, says the Iowa turkey industry is expanding through existing farm operations and some new operations in rural communities.
It’s estimated that Iowa?s turkey growers will raise over nine-and-a-half million birds in 2007. This ranks Iowa 9th in the U.S. for turkey production. Irwin says most of those gobblers though won’t be set on the table with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner — they’ll hit the road.
Irwin says a company like Sarah Lee sends turkey products all over the U.S., while those in West Liberty are processed into various products for other companies — including the meat used in Subway restaurants. Irwin says one of the most frequent question asked this year was if turkeys are raised using hormones and steroids.
Irwin says the use of hormones and steroids has been banned in any poultry since the 1950’s. Irwin says antibiotics at times are used, but a withdrawal period is required after the time the antibiotic is administered and before the turkey can be processed. Irwin says many of the turkey farms in the state are in the northwest, central and southeast part of Iowa.