Governor Herbert Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey
Governor Gary Herbert took the opportunity to thank Utah's farmers and ranchers for the abundance of
safe and affordable food they produce during his traditional turkey pardon at Thanksgiving Point in Utah County.
Lucky Tom the turkey is pictured below with (left) Agriculture Commissioner, Leonard Blackham; Board Chairman
for Norbest/Moroni Feed,Troy Prestwich,; Rep. Spencer Cox, Dist. 58; President & CEO - Norbest, Inc., Matt Cook; and several Cub Scouts of Pack 551 of Moroni, Utah who helped raised Tom the turkey.
(above) Troy Prestwich of Norbest attends Lucky Tom the turkey while more
than 50 onlookers at Thanksgiving Point participate in the 2012 turkey pardon.
(above) Agriculture and Food Commissioner, Leonard Blackham recognized that
Norbest Turkey is one of the 600 Utah's Own companies in the state.
Norbest increased its use of local corn and wheat by 300 train
cars this year, supporting local grain farmers.
Utah agriculture contributes about 66,000 jobs in the state and
generates about 14% of the state's economy.
(above) Matt Cook, President & CEO -
Norbest, Inc.said as many as five million
turkeys are raised in Sanpete County and contribute so much
to Utah's economy (That's more than one turkey for each person in the state).
More than 500 jobs are associated with the turkey industry in Utah,
and there is room for more jobs.
(above) Governor Herbert said Utahans can be thankful for a strong recovering
state economy where the unemployment rate has recently dropped to 5.2%;
one of the bright spots in the nation.
The history of Moroni Feed and Norbest.
About the time the United States was pulling itself out of the Great Depression, Sanpete County, Utah was giving birth to what would become a major force in the nation's turkey industry-Moroni Feed Company, Utah's largest turkey processor. In the early 1930's, turkeys were hatched and raised in one room barns on family farms heated by oil stoves. The feed, which was difficult to come by, was mixed by hand. In 1938, local farmers formed Moroni Feed Company to purchase bulk feed collectively and save money. They headquartered their operation in an old sugar beet factory. For nearly 75 years, they have weathered economic ups and downs. In 2008, they survived the disparity between record high commodity prices and record low meat prices in 2007 crippling some poultry companies and permanently destroying others. Despite a three-month temporary shutdown, 99% of their employees returned. It was an affirmation of the cooperative spirit and resolve to press forward. Today, they sell their products under the 84 year-old Norbest brand-the oldest marketing cooperative of its kind in the entire world. Many of their growers are 3rd and 4th generation farmers some of who still grow turkeys on the family farms homesteaded in the late 1800's.
Posted Novembern 20, 2012