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Indiana farmer credits his technique to raising healthy turkeys for Thanksgiving

By Lakyn McGee

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    NOBLESVILLE, Indiana (WISH) — Prices have increased for Thanksgiving dinner. Since last year, the traditional meal for the holiday has been impacted by supply chain issues, and now disease outbreaks among farms.

Farmers have worked overtime to bring you a healthy product. That includes Ron Thieme. He’s owned Hoosier Heritage Farm since 2013. He credits his farming technique to helping him dodge the deadly disease that’s wiped out birds before the holiday.

“I run a pasture based farm,” explained Thieme. “I don’t feed the animals genetically modified substances, and we don’t use growth hormones or antibiotics.”

Hoosier Heritage Farm has not been impacted by the Avian Flu that wiped out entire flocks at some Indiana farms this year.

“Our turkeys live out here on the pasture in the grass, so they’re very resistant to diseases unlike big concentrated animal feeding operations where one virus can take 10,000 turkeys in a day,” Thieme said. “That just doesn’t happen here.”

Farm operations continue to grow each year.

“This year, we raised about 300 turkeys,” he said. “Next year, there will be about 400 to 500 turkeys.”

Costs have gone up too. Thieme explained, “Inflation is affecting us in a big way. Almost all our inputs across the board, and I just did this calculation the other day. Probably on the order of 50 percent this year. Sometimes they’ve doubled.”

The farm has sold their products to the consumer directly, instead of placing the products on store shelves.

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