Let’s Talk Turkey: Fun Facts to Spread the Story of Agriculture

As the frantic pace of harvest winds down, we can reflect on another season of abundant effort.
As the frantic pace of harvest winds down, we can reflect on another season of abundant effort.
(Lindsey Pound, Farm Journal)

As the frantic pace of harvest winds down, we can reflect on another season of abundant effort. The vital work of farmers and ranchers is not always easy — as we saw in 2020. Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to remember despite challenges, we all have many reasons to be grateful. 

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebration, brush up on your knowledge about the traditional holiday dishes:

  • Turkeys: The U.S. is No. 1 in global turkey production. Turkey consumption has nearly doubled since 1970. In 2020, U.S. consumption of turkey was 5.26 billion pounds and 16 pounds per person. Last year these states produced the most turkeys:
    • Minnesota – 40 million birds
    • North Carolina – 31 million birds
    • Arkansas – 30 million birds
    • Indiana - 20 million birds
    • Missouri – 17 million birds
    • Virginia - 16 million birds
    • Iowa - 11.7 million birds
    • California – 8 million birds
  • Potatoes: The U.S. ranks fifth in global potato production. North Carolina is the leading sweet potato producing state, while Idaho grows the most white potatoes.
  • Cranberries: The U.S. is No. 1 in global cranberry production. Wisconsin leads the U.S. in production.
  • Pecans: The U.S. is No. 1 in global pecan production. New Mexico leads the U.S. in pecan production.
  • Pumpkins: The U.S. is fifth in global pumpkin production. Illinois leads the U.S. in pumpkin production.

Sources: USDA, National Turkey Federation

Join AgDay and U.S. Farm Report on Thanksgiving as they pay tribute to the amazing work and stories throughout America's countryside in the annual “Harvest of Thanks” special.


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