The turkey industry in Iowa employs or supports over 38,000 total jobs and is responsible for as much as $10.64 billion in total economic activity throughout the state.
Iowa has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Our governor and legislature enacted the largest tax reform in state history, state revenue continues to exceed projections, the state has a fully funded reserve fund, and regulations on home-based businesses have been reduced, among many other wins for economic growth. Iowa can settle in for long-term financial responsibility.
However, to get our state in the Thanksgiving spirit, we wanted to take a moment to give you some fun facts about one of Iowa’s agricultural industries to share at the Thanksgiving table this year: TURKEYS!
That’s right, Iowa is the 7th largest turkey-producing state in the nation. It’s home to 130 turkey farms, many of which are managed by second- and third-generation farmers, raising approximately 12 million birds every year. And Iowa does more than just raise turkeys; the state also ranks as the 6th largest turkey-processing state thanks to two main processing facilities: Tyson Foods in Storm Lake and West Liberty Foods in West Liberty, where over 15.5 million turkeys are processed each year.
Our Thanksgiving centerpiece has an economic impact for which we all should be thankful. The turkey industry in Iowa employs or supports over 38,000 total jobs and is responsible for as much as $10.64 billion in total economic activity throughout the state.
If buying a bird is not your style, you can always take a trip into Iowa’s great outdoors and take part in a fall hunting tradition. Iowa is home to some 120,000 gobblers. Of the five types of Turkeys in the United States, Iowa is home to the largest subspecies, with specimens weighing up to 30 pounds. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issued more than 7,300 fall turkey licenses in 2020, resulting in a harvest of 532 birds.
So, whether you collected a frozen turkey from the grocery store or caught your own wild turkey for your Thanksgiving table, this year, the lesson is the same: be thankful. The best-tasting turkeys probably come from Iowa. 😉