Thanksgiving brings to mind so many past memories that I treasure and allows a time of reflection about my family and our family heritage. Just over the hill and across a few pastures from where I live today, is the farmstead of my great grandparents. Little did I know that I would become a dairy farmer and live so close to my family's roots!
Turkey is always the center of attraction for my family's Thanksgiving meal. My first turkey encounters as a small child happened when we made trips (seven miles seemed like a long trip on curvy roads) from the city (Bentonville) to see my great-grandparents. My great grandparents were raising turkeys in the early 1920's when my dad was a baby. I cherish this picture of my great-grandmother Martha holding my dad in the middle of her turkeys.
Arkansas is the third largest turkey producing state in the nation, led by Minnesota and North Carolina. Instead of roaming freely on the range or in pastures as in past days, turkeys today are raised in modern turkey houses that have controlled temperature and provide safety from predators. It is possible for us to enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving and a variety of turkey products through the year because of improved genetics,feed formulations, modern farming practices and the dedication of farm families (http://www.eatturkey.com/).