It's getting closer to carving that special bird for the holidays. West Texas may be number one in cotton, but this time of year the big star is the turkey. Though our turkey industry is on the small side, Chip Chenoweth, President of Prater's Foods, gives us the facts about our holiday feathered friends.
Prater's Foods, Inc. in Lubbock has made the holidays special by supplying turkeys to the South Plains for more than 50 years. What used to be a turkey farm is now a center for processing turkeys from other states.
"There are five states making up 60% of the turkey production in the U.S., Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, and Virginia," says Chip.
Chip says Texas falls just short of the turkey top 10. It ranks 11th, but nationwide he says, the turkey industry is growing. "Turkey consumption has grown tremendously in the last 30 years. Actual production has probably tripled," says Chip.
Per person consumption also has doubled possibly because of health reasons and better marketing strategies. "More on the research and development, finding other uses for turkey rather than just the whole turkey at Thanksgiving," says Chip.
Almost 95% of Pater's turkey sales occur during the holiday season. "I like to say we are preparing Thanksgiving for America. We are in about 30 states with our product," says Chip.
Prater's ships turkey and all the fixings across the country, year-round, but chip says the holidays is a chance to make his company the top in turkey. "My goal would by to touch every family in America with our product at Thanksgiving and assist the cook of the family in preparing their Thanksgiving meal," says Chip.
Chip says they do their part in making turkey safe from processing to store shelves, but after that it's up to you. Safely thawing, cooking, and handling turkey leftovers can be tricky, so if you need some turkey, (click here).