Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Story Behind The Turkey

I very vividly remember my grade school field trip to the Sinn Turkey Farm. I had been to quite a few different types of livestock farms but I had never seen turkeys! As a Tremont Turk myself this was important; yes, you heard me correctly. My hometown of twenty-one hundred people has a “turkey” as our school mascot. We refer to him as a Turk and he is extremely tough I might add! Greg Sinn is a great farmer, father, and an amazing asset to his community.

Kelsey: Can you please tell me a little bit about your farm?  
Greg: My brother Steve and I operate our farm, Sinn Brothers Turkey Farm. Over seventy years ago my father started the farm and it has evolved as well as the turkey itself. In the beginning years of the Sinn Turkey Farm our market was a whole bird market catering to the Holiday season. We raised the birds in outdoor lots and even ran a processing plant. In order to address a health conscious consumer’s diet the turkey market changed to a year round market. At this point in time we began raising large turkey toms for Sara Lee. The turkey toms are marketed in deli or other quickly prepared products to be eaten at any time rather than simply cooking a large turkey and wondering how to eat the entire thing. We moved our turkeys from the outdoor lots to environmentally controlled buildings. The advancements throughout turkey farming are unbelievable and I cannot imagine what they will come out with next!
Kelsey: Is there a connection between your farm and the Tremont Turk mascot?
Greg: This is quite a reoccurring question on the Sinn Turkey Farm since we are one of the last turkey growing farms in the Tremont area. However, we are not the reason for the well established mascot. There was a turkey farmer a while back that donated money to Tremont High School in order for the school to purchase their first uniforms and it is often believed that is how the “Turk” mascot evolved.

Kelsey: Why do you have a passion for agriculture?
Greg: My passion for agriculture has to be tied to working as a family. There is an inherit responsibility to keep up the farm my previous generations worked so hard to develop. Everyone was expected to do their part as I grew up and that is no different today! It is so special to see family pitch in to help unload the baby turkeys when they arrive at our farm and then help again as we load them at market time. Agriculture is a cycle just like our everyday lives and it is extremely important that we keep family in the center of everything we do!

Kelsey: As a turkey farmer how do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
Greg: We celebrate Thanksgiving by being thankful for our friends, neighbors, and family. We hand dress some of our turkeys and give them to friends and neighbors as tokens of our thanks. At our family Thanksgiving we celebrate being together and appreciate everything God has given us. We of course have turkey! In fact, I am the proclaimed turkey cook with a secret recipe that I change a little every year as I see fit!
I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! This year please take a few minutes before eating your Thanksgiving dinner and remember the farmers who raised the potatoes, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, milk, wheat, and of course turkey for the special meal that allows your family to gather and celebrate in Thanksgiving.  

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