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WMass turkey farms report sales decline

by 5m Editor
22 November 2006, at 12:11pm

US - The turkeys are almost gone at Bennett's Farm. Two days before Thanksgiving, just a dozen waddled in the late afternoon sun, grazing on a range that had been crowded only a few weeks ago. Did these birds somehow survive the Thanksgiving rush?

"No, they're the Christmas turkeys," explained Frank E. Bennett, the farm's owner.

Selling turkeys is a big business at Bennett's - nearly 5,000 orders were filled in recent days, making it the area's largest turkey supplier.

But Bennett's sales figures are paltry compared with 20 years ago, when the farm would sell 45,000 birds each Thanksgiving. Sales for Christmas, the second largest turkey holiday, have also dwindled, Bennett said.

The lean times at Bennett's Farm reflect the shifting fortunes of the turkey industry in Massachusetts and other New England states.

While Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in Plymouth with poultry from nearby woods, Thanksgiving turkeys these days are likely to be slaughtered and shipped from plants in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Carolina or Michigan.

Source: The Republican

5m Editor