For those of you who have purchased one of Joe’s Farm Fresh Turkey’s you already know what all the fuss is about. For those who have not, or those who just don’t know the story behind our birds, this blog post is for you.
When Joe’s first opened in 2006 we knew that providing a high quality turkey during holiday periods would be important to our customers. In 2006 and 2007 we contracted with a small commercial grower to bring fresh birds to Joe’s. The turkey’s were fine, but we became concerned about the quality of the meat as well as the conditions under which the birds were raised and processed. In 2008 we were introduced to a turkey that got us 1/2 way to where we wanted to be. We heard wonderful stories about an Ohio farmer who cared so much about his product that he processed the birds himself. We purchased his turkey in 2008 and were so impressed with the quality of the bird that we pursued a direct relationship with the farmer.
Ted and Karl Kuck (pronounced Cook) quickly impressed us with their knowledge. They had been raising and processing turkey’s for years, with both of them having advanced degrees from Ohio State. We asked if they would be interested in raising turkeys to our specifications. Their initial reply was “no we might be getting out of the growing business and just sticking with processing”. But after some careful thought the Kuck family decided Joe’s was a good bet and we’ve grown our relationship from there forward.
What were Joe’s specifications? First, the turkey had to be raised under Free Range conditions. They needed to have open access to the outside world with freedom to roam and access to cool clean water. Second, the birds had to be raised without growth stimulants. Large breasted birds with underdeveloped legs and thighs were NOT for us. Third, we wanted our birds to be raised without the use of antibiotics. Use of antibiotics to promote growth in birds that are not sick was not acceptable. It’s not good for the animal or the humans who depend on antibiotics to cure illness. Fourth, we wanted any supplemental feeding of corn or soy to be clean, non-fortified and as natural as possible. Finally, we wanted a way to show our customers that we were serious about our claims. Any local grower could make the claims we make without doing the work required to get there, but we wanted a third party to verify our statements. We wanted to seek our own label from the USDA, a process that involves truth in label evidence and ongoing support of claims made.
Through the years our relationship with Farmer Ted and Karl has grown. In 2009 we were able to achieve our Hormone and Antibiotic Free specifications. In 2010 we achieved our Free Range and feed specifications. In 2011, we achieved our USDA label and this year in 2012 we worked on improved processing and delivery procedures that will insure our fresh birds don’t become frozen in their short journey to Joe’s.
The result of our efforts is an honest, direct to you, Farm Fresh Turkey who’s taste, texture, and quality shine through in each and every bite. From our farmers to your plate, processed just days before your Thanksgiving meal Joe’s Farm Fresh Turkey is the best we can provide.
To reserve your Joe’s Farm Fresh Turkey for your Thanksgiving table, we’ve created an online order entry page on our website. Just go back to our home page and click on the ordering link. We offer a wide variety of dates times for your pick-up along with a choice of other frequently ordered or needed items you can pick up at the same time. Don’t miss our wine selections, hand picked by Joe to offer the best quality for the dollar possible. This year we’ve added an order confirmation email back to you so that you can feel confident that we received your order.
Questions on how to cook Joe’s Farm Fresh Turkey? Click on our Cooking tab and then click on our Turkey Roasting tab. We’ll show you not only how to cook your Joe’s Farm Fresh Turkey, but we include a link to an awesome 6 minute video of how to carve and present your Turkey on the table!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. At Joe’s we take our motto seriously - Quality, Value, Service – and we hope it shows!