Fresh turkey market grows in Vermont

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(Host) Turkey production has declined across most of New England, but it has become a growth industry in Vermont. That’s according to the state’s Department of Agriculture, which expects an increase this year in the sale of farm-fresh turkeys.

Officials think the growth can be traced to several factors, including the growing movement towards knowing where your food comes from. Deputy Commissioner Tom Harty thinks it all comes down to taste:

(Harty) “Well I think people have rediscovered how great Vermont farm-fresh turkeys taste, compared to that frozen ‘Butterball.’ It’s as simple as that. I mean, years ago, thousands and thousands of Vermont turkeys were driven to the Boston market this time of year and we’ve rediscovered how great a fresh turkey is.”

(Host) In the ten-year period between 1991 and 2001, turkey production has tripled in Vermont from 15,000 to 45,000 birds. While it is growing, production here is miniscule compared to Minnesota and North Carolina, which produce some 40 million birds.

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