Thanksgiving is a time that brings families together – not only the families that gather together to enjoy their turkey-centered meal, but also the families that provide those turkeys.
Hurd Farm in Hampton, NH, provides one great example of the impacts the Thanksgiving season has on these farmers.
Hurd Farm has been a family business since 1923, when Steve Hurd’s grandparents purchased the land. Up until 2009, the farm was involved primarily in the dairy industry. With the changes in times, finances and product demand, their production switched from dairy cattle to beef cattle, pigs, laying hens, meat chickens and turkeys.
Steve Hurd, the current owner of Hurd Farm, has been working in the operation his whole life. Although Steve has the help of family members during the year as needed, he mostly runs the whole farm on his own.
The farm consists of approximately 30 beef cattle, 60 pigs, 60 laying hens, 10,000 meat chickens and 800 turkeys.
The farm started raising turkeys back in 2010. As Steve explained, this side of the business quickly grew throughout the years. “We started with 50 birds, and every year we doubled,” he said. Steve was running into situations where they ran out of turkeys to sell to their customers. However, they have maxed out at 800 turkeys, providing as much as they can each year.
Out of the whole year, the Thanksgiving season is their busiest time, especially the week before the holiday. With 800 turkeys to process, package and sell, Steve hires help so there are four processors to get all the turkeys done in just five or six days. Customers can order their own processed turkey to pick up at the farm, but they are not guaranteed a certain size. Although it is a first come, first served system, Steve tries to get all of the processed turkeys between 12 and 25 pounds.
What makes Hurd Farm unique is not only do they sell fresh turkeys to customers, they are also the only farm in town.
To order a fresh turkey, or to learn more about Hurd Farm, visit hurdfarm.com.
by Kelsi Devolve