Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Too Much Turkey Is No Excuse for Not Tightening Your Belt

[Xenia, OH] – The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition is reminding highway travelers this Thanksgiving that the only belt that should be leftunbuckled this year, or any year, is the one holding up your trousers–not the seat belts in your car.

“Seat belts have saved more lives than any other single piece of automotive safety equipment,” said Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator. “But in order for them to work, they have to be used. This Thanksgiving, and every day and night of the year, make sure you buckle up your seat belt and you’ll have the opportunity to unbuckle that other belt at the feast table with your family and friends.”

Nationally, during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2009 (which ran from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, to 5:59 a.m., Monday, November 30), 303 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, including 115 during daylight hours (6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.) and 187 during night time (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.). One fatality occurred during an unknown time period.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), night time is one of the more dangerous times on the road because seat belt use is traditionally lower. Of the 187 passenger vehicle occupant deaths at night during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday period, over one-half (54%) did not have their seat belts fastened (where seat belt use was known); while 49% in day-time crashes were not wearing seat belts.

“There is no holiday more closely associated with the American family, or with American travel, than Thanksgiving,” said Fox. “But if you hit the highways unbelted, the faces you could be seeing this Holiday might belong to an emergency room physician or nurse instead of the faces of your family and friends.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45%, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50%.

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit

Thanksgiving, Consumer Holiday or Celebration of Life?

By Daniel Downs

The American Thanksgiving tradition is a religious tradition. It rooted the survival stories of our Puritan ancestors. The journals of both William Bradford and Edward Winslow are important sources of that narrative. It is in those two literary sources that the Thanksgiving tradition is discovered.

It is true that the Thanksgiving holiday was not observed by New England colonists. The Puritans of Plymouth were not attempting to create a holiday. That was for Abraham Lincoln’s generation and others to make it so. Our Puritan ancestors were simply practicing principles of their Christian religion as well as being grateful their Indian friends. They were grateful to God for helping them survive the harsh winters and some hostile natives. They also were thankful God for natives like Squanto and Massasoit to help learn how to adapt and thrive in the new land.

It is not true that Thanksgiving is a non-religious holiday. Consumer America has made it one of America’s premier holidays for commerce. Selling turkeys, ham, cranberries, pumpkin pies, gasoline, airplane tickets, and black Friday deals may be the main trappings of the so-called Turkey Day, but it has not always been a commercial holiday.

The Puritans simply celebrated God’s blessing of a bountiful harvest and hunting season. It was shared with family, friends, and even neighbors. In fact, it was a community feast where God was included, honored and even thanked for His providential provision. Moreover, this community feast continued the Christian tradition of including those of less fortunate circumstance and natives whose religious beliefs differed from their own.

Underlying the religious tradition of Thanksgiving is a more important fact. The gathering of people to share the blessings of material prosperity in a spirit of shared gratitude, especially those who have shared the daily work and struggles that make life, family and community possible, demonstrates the essence and meaning of life.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of life itself.

Commercialization of Thanksgiving reveals the modern momentum toward the degradation of life.

(Xenia Community Thanksgiving Dinner will take place at the Golden Age Senior Citizen Center 130 E. Church St. on the 24th Thursday beginning at 11AM. For more information, go here or read the Gazette article.)

Thanksgiving Economics

Because of the lingering effects of the recession, Thanksgiving 2011 will not be as great an economic boom as before, but reports indicate increased spending is expected.

For example, an “American Farm Bureau Federation study claims the cost of turkey and other related Thanksgiving food items costs 13 percent more this year. Their estimate was based on a sample meal consisting of turkey, stuffing, peas, pumpkin pie, rolls, sweet potatoes, fresh cranberries, and other items. The total cost of the family meal was $49.20. Let say, the average family meal will consists of 8-10 member and/or friends. The total cost of a food on Thanksgiving will be no less than $16.6 billion.

A recent AAA survey shows 38.2 million Americans plan on driving an average of 706 miles to their destination. They won’t be traveling by pink elephant either. Nearly 3.4 million will fly by plane, according to the American Automobile Association (not American Alcoholic Anonymous) survey. American traveler expected to spend an average of $554 each. That totals over $23 billion. Along all of the greasy turkey, fattening dressing, and calorie boosting pie, that is a lot of gas, especially at over $3 a gallon.

Some might want to extend their trip to play in the Turkey-Lurky Bowl, which is held in New York City. It would be a great way to work off some of the excess blubber, relieve some of the pent up holiday pressure, and enjoy Central Park.

If you bit more lazy like me, you could entertain yourself by watching My Life As A Turkey, a PBS documentary about Joe Hutto experience with turkeys. Or, if you happen to be bored out-of-your-gourd, you could take Kipliner’s
Thanksgiving IQ quiz
. (That is giving thanks that one’s still has an IQ after stuffing oneself life a crazy person on Thursday and vowing never to do it again on Friday.)

Speaking of Friday, Kiplinger’s Money Magazine reports Black Friday spending is expected to top $45 billion. One possible reason is many retailers intend to start on Thursday at midnight. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, the expected amount in sales will account for about 21% of retailers annual sales.

For at least two Minnesota turkeys, they are counting more than economic blessings, according to the Associated Press. I’m certain they are thankful for a royal trip to see the President of the United States as well as for being pardoned. I’m not sure from what sin crime turkeys may be pardoned but like all of us inheritors of the Puritan Thanksgiving tradition they can be thankful to God for escaping the eternal axe. That’s what Puritans used to call the economy of God’s grace.

Continental Congress Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1782

The following is a reproduction of the First Thanksgiving Proclamation of the Continental Congress. It also provides evidence that under our constitutional form of government (albeit, the first constitution) the United States of America was in fact a Christian nation. It seems illogical to either appeal to or thank the god of deism who is no longer involved in human affairs. Only the biblical God is involved in the daily affairs of men and states. Thus, the following official state proclamation calls for collective gratitude to the Judeo-Christian God.


IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war, in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their Allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States, and those of their Allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States:—– Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.

Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.

JOHN HANSON, President.
Charles Thomson, Secretary.


Justice Scalia: Founders Never Imagined Abortion “Rights”

By Steven Ertelt

In a speech at the University of Richmond in Virginia on Friday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia confirmed again his view that the Constitution contains no so-called abortion rights.

He told the audience during his speech, that is only now drawing attention, that the founders of the nation never envisioned a right to an abortion when drafting the Constitution that is supposed to guide the federal courts.

Scalia criticized, according to an AP report, those who misinterpret the 14th Amendment’s due process clause to include abortion.

“But some of the liberties the Supreme Court has found to be protected by that word—liberty—nobody thought constituted a liberty when the 14th Amendment was adopted,” Scalia said. “Abortion? It was criminal in all the states.”

Scalia repeated his view that the Constitution should be taken literally, as written, rather than interpreting it to include rights not intended to be protected under law.

“The Constitution says what it says and it doesn’t say anything more. For flexibility, all you need is a legislature and a ballot box,” he added, in terms of how abortion advocates should attempt to change the constitution if they want to have legal abortions.

By allowing the Supreme Court to create rights not enumerated by the Constitution – “you’re allowing five out of nine hotshot lawyers to run the country.”

“Unless the words have meaning and unless judges give them their fair meaning, democracy doesn’t work,” Scalia said during an address entitled “Do Words Matter?”

Earlier this year, Scalia spoke at a conference sponsored by the Mississippi College School of Law and condemned activists who back the use of international law in the U.S. legal system, saying they are selective when they want to use it.

Scalia oppose the use of international law and decisions by foreign courts to interpret the Constitution.

“If there was any thought absolutely foreign to the founders of our country, surely it was the notion that we Americans should be governed the way Europeans are,” he said, according to the Jackson Free Press newspaper.

“I dare say that few of us here would want our life or liberty subject to the disposition of French or Italian criminal justice—not because those systems are unjust, but because we think ours is better,” the pro-life jurist added.

But Scalia says those who advocate using foreign law do so selectively and ignore how many foreign laws oppose abortion and foreign courts have issued decisions allowing pro-life laws and abortion restrictions.

“I will become a believer in the ingenuousness, though never the propriety, of the Court’s newfound respect for the wisdom of foreign minds when it applies that wisdom in the abortion cases,” Scalia said.

[Thank God for Justice Scalia and his view]

This article was orginially published by, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving, Roots of Freedom

Thanksgiving is a unique national religious holiday. It was the first religious celebration for the settling and founding of the American state. As noted in previous posts, the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation was in 1619 at the Berkeley Plantation state. The plantations were states because they formed civil societies based on natural law. Later in colonial history, the plantations began forming constitutional forms of governance as well as a confederation. In 1776, all plantation states came together to create the United States of America and to form the first national constitution. All of which, conformed to the Law of Nations.

All of the plantation states were formed based on two-part compacts. Like our national compact consisting of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the plantation states (colonies) were founded by a written covenant. The Plymouth Combination is the most famous version.

Although Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the 1960s, there have perpetual proclamations like the Berkeley Plantation Proclamation and many national proclamations like the Continental Thanksgiving Proclamation, for example President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Throughout American history, each and every Thanksgiving Proclamation has been a call for collective gratitude to the biblical God with whom the governed consented to covenant with at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Therefore, it behooves Americans to continue to repent of wrongs done against God and to offer thanks for helping our ancestors to gain the freedom and inherent rights. Like Esau of biblical history, we have in large measure forfeited our birthright for bread and circus. It might be a good time to reflect on how to regain that birthright of independence as defined in the natural law Declaration of Independence and the Bible.

As a starting point, we might consider the Proclamation given by President George Washington:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Washington also was known to preach biblical sermons to the troops when he though necessary during the Revolutionary War.

First Official Thanksgiving in America

Each first Sunday in November a Thanksgiving Festival is held at the Berkeley Plantation in accordance with documentation from 1619. The event fulfills instructions given to the 38 settlers who arrived on the banks of the James River at Berkeley Hundred as documented in the proclamation:

“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

The settlers set sail in a ship called The Margaret from the Port of Bristol in England, where at the Berkeley Castle funding for the journey was supplied by landowners including Sir Richard Berkeley and William Throckmorton. Agriculture was going through difficult times and many people in the area wanted to start a new life for themselves in America, and so they joined the leaders Sir John Woodleefe, George Thorpe, and John Smyth, who had planned this remarkable and historic voyage. Although they encountered severe weather that delayed their journey, the landing on December 4, 1619, is well documented by the Virginia Company of London.

Charles Berkeley from the Berkeley Castle stressed in his speech for the 1994 Virginia First Thanksgiving Festival that “this was the first thanksgiving to be held on American soil but it was not officially recognized until President Kennedy’s term of office in the 1960s, as beforehand the Pilgrim Fathers were considered to have been the first American settlers to offer Thanksgiving. The Berkeleys in fact preceded them . . . .”

Former Virginia Governor Mills Godwin summarized the setting well in his 1981 remarks: “Berkeley has been a working plantation in Virginia since 1619, and a handsome brick manor house was built here early in the 18th Century. Here was born Benjamin Harrison, V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a post-Revolutionary Governor of Virginia, and his son, William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States. Today, while privately owned, Berkeley has been magnificently restored and is open to the public as one of America’s distinguished historic shrines.”

As we express our gratitude at these Thanksgiving events, so we live out our words by offering thanks, remembering the past, and pledging to continue the great legacy of those before us who celebrated perpetually . . . and look forward to a great future in this free nation.

Source: Covenant News Newswire, November 21, 2005

Giving thanks to God for the free market? Thankgiving history

Thanksgiving Day is undeniably a government established religious holiday. From its historic origin at Plymouth Colony to President Lincoln’s official declaration of “… the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

As you gather with family and friends this national day of Thanksgiving to give thanks to Almighty God for His blessings on America, you should also give thanks for Governor Bradford and the Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony. They established the spiritual foundations for our nation and, after a miserable failure with a socialist system, they wisely laid the free market foundations which ensured our prosperity as well.

It is generally known that the Pilgrims suffered terribly through their first winter in America with about half of their members dying from sickness, starvation or exposure. Even though Squanto and other friendly Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and helped them with hunting, trapping and fishing, the harvest of their crops had yielded barely enough to support the colony. In the fall of 1621, although things were still very tough, they were thankful for what they had and declared a three-day feast which they shared with their Indian friends who contributed deer and wild fowl. The following year, the Pilgrims again failed to produce enough food to adequately sustain them.

William Bradford, the first governor of Plymouth Colony, recorded that the colonists struggled because they refused to work in the fields. After that first winter, Bradford assigned a plot of land to each of the surviving families and “… all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” which they produced were to be deposited into a common storehouse and that “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” This meant that each member of the community was entitled to take what they needed regardless of how much or how little they contributed.

As Governor Bradford recorded in his journal, this effort to spread the wealth around the Pilgrim community “… was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.” In other words, there was no incentive for people to work any harder than necessary.

After the dismal harvest of 1622, Governor Bradford recorded in his journal that “… they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” As a result, Bradford and the Plymouth elders scrapped socialism and adopted a free market plan that allowed the colonists to own their land and the means of production and to keep what they produced to feed themselves or for trading. The harvest of 1623 proved that such market incentives work. Bradford wrote, “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any other means the Governor or any other could use ….”

Bradford acknowledged “… instead of famine now God gave them plenty and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many.” Socialism in Plymouth Colony was a complete and tragic failure. After the colony implemented a free market system, Bradford wrote that from that point “… any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, the harvest of 1624 was so plentiful that colonists were able to start exporting corn to England. (Source: email from Family First on November 25, 2009)

* * * *

In a more punctuated account, the editor of The Lighthouse made this drew this conclusion about the Puritans’ experience at Plymouth Colony: “Once families were allowed to keep the fruits of their labor, the food shortages vanished. In short, the Pilgrims learned that prosperity requires individual effort, and individual effort requires individual reward. And we are the beneficiaries of that lesson.”

* * * *

As important as that lesson is, more important is learning how to prosper under the free market laws of God over which He rules. This is not measured by dollars and cents but by the moral standards of truth, justice, mercy, charity, and faithfulness. Our actions towards others supply the funds for our eternal loss or gain.

The Madoff’s and Enron managers of the world are examples of making the wrong moral investments. They lose in both the free market of corporate finance regulated by government and in the free market of God.

Yet, all of us have reason to give God thanks for his unfailing practice of the same free market laws toward us. He seems always willing to forgive us of both our debts and our crimes as well as to bless our bountiful prosperity. In this, we expectantly hope for eternal returns.

Moving Thanksgiving Makes As Much Sense as Sales Tax Holidays

By Joseph Henchman

Thanksgiving as an American tradition of course dates back to 1641, when the Pilgrims celebrated a bountiful harvest from individual farming after nearing starving to death under collective farming. President George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day for October 3, 1789, and such proclamations occurred sporadically until President Lincoln set an annual Thanksgiving holiday for the last Thursday in November, beginning in 1863. It was celebrated as such every year by tradition until 1941, when the holiday was set in federal law.

Well not quite every year. In 1939, with Thanksgiving set to occur on November 30, the National Retail Dry Goods Association lobbied President Franklin Roosevelt to move the holiday to November 23 to create an additional week of Christmas shopping. Roosevelt, over much public opposition, did so. Many states refused to move the holiday and some states even celebrated both. In 1940 and 1941, Roosevelt proclaimed the holiday to fall on the third Thursday in November as well, but for 1941, Congress set it as the fourth Thursday where it has remained since.

Part of the reason the retailers gave up on their extra week of shopping is that sales didn’t change. Just like with sales tax holidays, the evidence was that purchases did not increase; shoppers just changed the timing of when they shopped. They are both political gimmicks, although moving Thanksgiving has proven to a politically unwise one.

Source: Tax Policy Blog, November 25, 2009.

Turkey news, your thanksgiving bird may have originated from Minnesota

FedGazette writer Dave Walter claims your Thanksgiving turkey more than likely originated from Minnesota.

In recent years, chances have increased that this Thanksgiving a turkey gracing any given table in America hails from [Minnesota]. By virtually every important measure—birds raised, pounds produced, total value—the district’s turkey industry is growing, and at a faster rate than the industry nationwide.

Last year, district turkey farms raised more than 54 million birds, one-fifth of the nation’s flock of 272 million birds. Much of the increase in the size of the region’s turkey flock has occurred since 2005 and stems from production gains in Minnesota, by far the district’s largest turkey producer.

The strong performance of turkey farmers in the district compares favorably with growth trends in other livestock industries. In the beef industry, cattle and calf production fell 3 percent between 2000 and 2007, and in dairy the number of milk cows raised decreased by 10 percent. Growth in the number of turkeys roughly matched the increase in chicken production, while in terms of pounds produced, the growth rate for turkey was more than twice that for chicken.

Only hog farmers have outdone turkey growers in production growth; between 2000 and 2007, the number of hogs raised in the district increased by about 23 percent. (However, those gains have not translated into higher income for hog farmers, because of dropping hog prices in the past two years.)

Turkey farmers breed and feed today’s birds to grow bigger and quicker (adding as much as two pounds per week to their frames) than their recent ancestors. Careful breeding and nutrition have also produced turkeys of uniform size bearing lots of white breast meat—more desirable to consumers than dark meat.

The supersizing of the American turkey is one indication of how efficient the turkey industry has become at producing large quantities of turkey meat for consumption in the United States and overseas.

Large, uniformly sized turkeys lend themselves to large-scale, automated processing, reducing production costs. Economies of scale extend to turkey hatcheries and farms where turkey hatchlings (called poults) are raised to maturity. The size of turkey “grow-out” facilities in the district varies widely, said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. But even relatively small farms house 10,000 birds or more, and larger operators raise as many as half a million turkeys at multiple sites.

Efficient production translates into low retail prices. Consumers pay much less per pound for turkey than other meats. In 2007, turkey sold for about half the price of ham and less than half the price of beef (chicken cost about the same). And the price of turkey keeps falling; adjusted for inflation, turkey costs less than it did in 1998. In contrast, the price of beef has risen 26 percent in real dollars over the past decade.

Affordability, together with the development of “further-processed” products such as turkey lunchmeat, sausages and ground meat, has made turkey more of a year-round food item than it was a generation ago. Per capita turkey consumption in the United States rose from 6.3 pounds in 1960 to just over 18 pounds in 1996, according to the USDA. In 2005, turkey consumption fell slightly to 16.7 pounds per person.

American consumers aren’t the only ones eating more turkey; between 1990 and 2007, U.S. exports of turkey meat increased almost eightfold to 554 million pounds. The three leading export countries for turkey are Mexico, China and Russia.

For all its efficiency, the turkey industry is suffering from escalating corn and soybean prices that have increased production costs. Feed accounts for about two-thirds of the cost of raising turkeys. In the summer of 2006, corn prices hovered around $2 per bushel; by last June, they had hit $5 per bushel. The trend for soybeans is similar: Between 2006 and last July, the price more than doubled to almost $12 per bushel. Since then, prices for both commodities have fallen considerably.

So far, processors have eaten the higher costs of feed. Contracts with growers usually stipulate that the processor pays for turkey rations—once a safe bet for processors because before the recent run-up, feed prices had been fairly stable for years. No more; processors are feeling the impact of rising feed prices, which doesn’t bode well for the industry as a whole. The rising price of feed “is first and foremost the thing we think about,” said Burkel of Northern Pride, which has to foot the bill under its contract obligations to member-growers.

Turkeys are extremely efficient at converting feed into meat; just under three pounds of feed are required to grow one pound of turkey—less than half the amount it takes to produce a pound of beef. Even so, processors can be expected to absorb high feed prices only so long before they’re obliged to pass those costs along to consumers or cut production.

The National Turkey Federation in Washington, D.C., has lobbied for a reduction in the federal ethanol mandate for blended gasoline, arguing that the upward pressure it puts on corn prices will ultimately increase turkey retail prices and force some turkey farmers out of business.

The impact of increased ethanol production on feed prices is debatable, but there are already signs of a shake-up in the industry. A Butterball turkey plant in Colorado announced this fall that it would close its slaughtering facility and local turkey raising operations by Thanksgiving, citing “record-high costs for corn, soybean meal and other feed ingredients” for the loss of almost 500 jobs.

The fatter, faster, more efficient turkeys and farmers weave a web of independent and corporate growers. Whether it’s all for the birds, I don’t know. I have doubts about whether the birds are as healthy for us as marketers want us to believe. Nevertheless, one can only wonder whether the declining economy will further hurt turkey growers. If the above is indicative of current trends, those turkeys in the corporate bird business may need bailed out too. Were more corporate producers to fail altogether, millions of turkeys would have something to be thankful by next Thanksgiving Day.

Can turkeys gobble hallelujah?

Source:Dave Walter, Talking Turkey, FedGazette, November 2008.