12/22/2014

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Oregon once had thriving turkey industry

Oregon once had thriving turkey industry
In the mid-1980s, Oregon produced 2.5 million turkeys.
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If you pay attention — and I never have — you’ll notice that Oregon produces few turkeys.

Most turkeys consumed in Oregon Thursday will come from California, Utah or Minnesota.

It wasn’t always that way, as this very interesting post from the state Department of Agriculture points out. In the mid-1980s, Oregon produced 2.5 million of the birds and had a “strong, viable industry.”

The industry has since dissipated.

Management turnover at the Oregon Turkey Growers Association is one reason. Price issues and some bad publicity created by shipping contaminated turkeys are two others. Apparently, about 70,000 turkeys had to be recalled prior to Thanksgiving 1992.

The post — one of the Oregon Department of Agriculture's weekly stories — says the turkey industry is likely gone from the state for good aside from a few “niche-market” birds.

On the other hand, if you're vegetarian, you'll be happy to know that Turtle Island Foods produces its Tofurkey in a new $10 million LEED Platinum processing plant .

View a photo gallery of the plant

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