The Heritage Farmer Who’s Trying to Breed the Perfect Turkey
Layton Ehmke

Great article! I wrote about Reese a few years back. I’m happy he’s still fighting the good fight, but find it a bit scary he seems to be the only one out there doing it. Even the niche small farmers selling at places like farmer’s markets are almost entirely raising commodity poultry breeds. There are just so many obstacles to getting into the heritage stuff. I’m not sure what needs to happen to change it, I think it would require a lot of infrastructural investment that I’m not sure the current USDA admin cares about.

For my article I ordered some birds of his from Heritage Foods and they were some of the best poultry I’ve ever eaten. I wish I could get something like that locally, but since I have to order them online they are really just a special occasion thing for me.

Are you going to try to raise some on your own farm? Another obstacle seems to be even acquiring a flock. I think that’s one thing Reese could do is start marketing chicks to hobby farmers + classes, books, etc. I personally think there is possibly more profit to be made in that and it would keep the lines from dying out.

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