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Turkey pardon spans generations for Iowa producer

Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, Iowa Turkey Federation President Russ Yoder, stand with family and friends atop Terrace Hill Tuesday, Nov. 21. Photo by Ben Nuelle

AUDIO: Russ Yoder, Iowa Turkey Federation

Your turkey dinner might be the lowest cost it’s in five years but what does that mean for turkey producers.

Russ Yoder is a turkey producer in Wayland, Iowa. He is also president of the Iowa Turkey Federation.

“Forty years ago my uncle got to present Governor Ray with a turkey and today I am here with Governor Reynolds to pardon two turkeys,” Yoder says.

Yoder is a third generation turkey farmer. He raises 220,000 toms or male turkeys. They go to restaurants across the U.S. like Subway and others. He says prices are the biggest challenge these days.

“The turkey market isn’t really the best right now but the lower grain costs are helping,” Yoder says.

They are trying to get turkey into other markets across the globe.

“We’re trying to get into China. (A delegation) went to China this past summer with Governor Reynolds and met a lot of key people,” Yoder says.

Yoder adds opening up markets is what the industry needs.