Transparency in turkey production

As removed as most consumers are from production agriculture, there are growing numbers of people who are taking an interest in where their food is coming from and how it is produced. Many agricultural producers are recognizing that being as transparent in their operations as possible is a winning strategy for the industry. Darrell Glaser is a turkey farmer near Rogers.

“We get turkeys here at one day of age and we keep them for six weeks and then they go to another farm to be finished all of the way out to where they’re actually ready to go to the market.”

Glaser’s family is a contract grower for Cargill Foods on their Bar G Ranch.

“They actually started putting the farm names on the Thanksgiving turkeys or the turkeys that were in the freezer case and the whole point behind it is just to help people to have a better understanding of where their food supply is coming from.”

Glaser believes that Cargill is the first company to do what they call a block chain on turkey production.

“It’s just tracking the bird from the point of origin all the way through to the meat case. So it would just show how it’s been handled, how it’s been raised, what care has been put into it, how we take care of them, the process that we go through to actually grow the birds. If someone actually buys the bird they can go on and look at the farm name. There’s a code they can type in on a website and it would actually have video of our farm and how the birds were raised.”

Glaser says that if farmers don’t tell their own story, someone else will tell it and it may not be accurate.

“And so we just want to open up our doors to the people who actually consume the product so they understand how we do what we do and the care we put into the products we’re producing. What people don’t see is when my kids and I get up on Christmas Eve Morning and the first thing that we have to do is go check a baby calf that we’re not sure was nursing. And so on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day we may be out with a cow in a chute helping a baby nurse, or by the same token, when we have day old poultry or turkeys in these houses Christmas Morning we’re out here walking them, making sure everything’s right, making sure the temperature’s right. If a storm comes in, I’m getting up in the middle of the night coming out to make sure all of the curtains are good, everything’s the way it needs to be.”