In advance of Thanksgiving, Michigan Allied Poultry Industries presented a turkey to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Nov. 12 in appreciation of her support of the state’s poultry industry.
The turkey farms and processors in Michigan employ more than 3,400 people and generate an additional 9,700 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries, including jobs at companies supplying goods and services to the industry. In 2018, the industry was responsible for as much as $2.97 billion in total economic activity throughout the state.
“All poultry sectors — egg-layers, chickens and turkeys — are projected to increase in Michigan during the next five years, which means crop farms and businesses that support the industry will also grow to meet the needs of our expanding farms,” says Allison Brink, MAPI executive director. “We rely on the governor’s support of our family farms to allow farmers across the state to continue producing high-quality, local lean proteins to feed Michigan families.”
Michigan poultry is raised by farmers throughout the state whose heritage and passion are centered around creating a safe and quality source of protein for consumers, Brink adds. Family farms in Michigan raise 6.2 million broilers, 5.3 million turkeys and house 15 million egg-laying hens each year.
In 1998, Michigan Turkey Producers was founded by 15 growers who were looking for a way to bring their birds to market locally. Today, Michigan is one of the few states with a farmer-owned cooperative processing facility, and all turkeys raised in the state still are processed at the MTP processing facility in Grand Rapids.
The original 15 growers sit on the MTP board and are involved in the company, continuing to promote humane, sustainable practices. All farms supplying MTP are an average of 30 miles from the processing plant, which leads to a significant reduction in their carbon footprint.
“Michigan turkey farmers are committed to the health and well-being of their birds, so consumers can eat a delicious, nutritious and safe food,” says Brian Boerigter, CEO of MTP. “Many people only think about turkey around Thanksgiving, but the average American eats 17 pounds of turkey each year. Our farmers work hard all year long to raise high-quality, lean meat that Michiganders enjoy every day in sandwiches, soups, cookouts and family breakfasts and dinners.”
Michigan Allied Poultry Industries will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2020.