Turkeys raised in the United States roam freely inside scientifically designed, environmentally controlled barns where they are protected from predators, disease and weather extremes. We work with our veterinarians, animal science researchers and farm families with generations of experience to apply improvements to raising our turkey flocks. The health and welfare of turkey flocks is of the utmost importance to NTF members. The foundation of our commitment to animal health and food safety is to protect the health and welfare of our turkeys. Our Stewardship Manual summarizes the stringent standards our members have adopted to ensure consistency across the turkey business. Healthy animals produce healthy food.
The farmers who belong to the National Turkey Federation have accepted the stewardship responsibility to raise their flocks for healthy, wholesome food for you. Their families eat turkey burgers, turkey sausage, turkey sandwiches and turkey tenderloin from among the same turkey flocks they raise for your family. Our turkey farmers grow for the consumers’ preference while striving to offer affordable value for all Americans in choice and variety. We use antibiotics to treat infection to ensure our flocks do not suffer from disease, in accordance with American Association of Avian Pathologists and the Animal Veterinary Medical Association. Measured antibiotic use is prescribed with withdrawal time to ensure turkey is safe to eat. Purpose for treatment, type of medicine, and dosage as well as mandated time for medicines to clear the animals’ system before marketing are strictly limited by FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and confirmed by test results overseen by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Preservation and protection of our natural resources is important to the turkey industry. Those farm families live as well as work on the farmland they rely on year after year for productive land and clean water. As responsible stewards of the land, air and water, turkey farmers use modern agriculture methods to provide safe, affordable, healthy foods that feed our families and our growing world. NTF farmers keep their environmental footprint small. The biggest potential impact is from use of the bedding material, or litter, used in the turkey houses. Because turkey litter is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen, it is recycled as an organic fertilizer on farm fields. Careful management ensures that litter is used in accordance with the nutritional needs of crops so that nutrient enrichment of groundwater and surface water is guarded against. In this video visit to Bar G Ranch Poultry in Rogers, Texas, you will see how the Glaser family for over 100 years has used experience and modern methods to win recognition for leading-edge environmental and conservation practices.
Take a tour of a typical farm that’s involved in the growth and delivery of the nation’s 250 million turkeys each year with Temple Grandin PhD, leading animal welfare expert and professor of animal science at Colorado State University.