Turkey farmers who planned ahead cash in on demand for smaller birds this Thanksgiving

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CONCORDIA, Mo. — Smaller Thanksgiving gatherings have put smaller turkeys in high demand.

Health directors’ calls for people to skip Thanksgiving gatherings and stay home seemed like it would be a scary proposition for those who make part of their living off the holiday. 

But one Concordia, Missouri, turkey farmer said it’s actually been good for business.

David’s Pasture, a Lafayette County farm with pasture raised turkeys, cattle, lamb, duck, chickens, and hogs, saw its customer base quadruple this year because of COVID 19. They sell direct to customers and started contactless delivery. 

“We saw the coming of lockdowns, people not being able to leave their houses or choosing not to go to grocery stores or markets,” Remington Kesten said.

At a time when many places are cutting back, the turkey farm didn’t see a bleak forecast for Thankgiving gatherings as a setback. More smaller gatherings has actually increased the overall demand for turkeys, especially the smaller variety. The farm harvested more young turkeys, with a target of 10-13 pounds.

“In fact, we actually doubled our turkey production this year to meet the demand of the smaller gatherings and stuff, with smaller whole turkeys,” Kesten said.

Now all that’s left are the fat turkeys who haven’t made it to be processed for parts yet because of COVID-19 based delays. 

“We always end up with one or two, our pardoned turkeys that end up getting to stay and hang around a little longer. We might use those for Christmas for ourselves,” Kesten said.

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