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September 26, 2017 10:04 PM

Turkey Industry Taking Flight In South Dakota

Beresford, SD

You probably think about farmers raising cows and pigs in South Dakota, but what about turkeys?  The industry is taking flight in the state.

For years, you probably only shopped for turkey once a year ahead of Thanksgiving, but that's starting to change.

"Today we have turkey deli meat and turkey schnitzel," Scott Rowland with Hendrix Genetics said.

That's one of the reasons why a major turkey breeder is investing big time in South Dakota.

On Tuesday, Hendrix Genetics broke ground on a $25 million hatchery just north of Beresford.

"They're in 28 countries all over the world, and they chose South Dakota," South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard said.

With this new building so close to Beresford, some area residents are concerned about the smell, but company officials say you won't smell anything. The new building will only be used for hatching turkey eggs.

"A $25 million plant will be producing over half a million baby turkeys every week," Daugaard said.

In addition to the hatchery, Hendrix Genetics is also building three farms in the state that will produce eggs for the plant. Another turkey processing plant in Huron is expanding to the tune of $39 million.

"Not only do we hatch them here now, we'll feed them here. We'll process them here. We're even going to cook them here now," Daugaard said.

Governor Daugaard says this project is just one of many focused on turkeys in the state.

"Think turkey, think South Dakota," Daugaard said.

A thought that could keep growing as more people think about eating turkey.

"There are lots of ways to eat turkey. Ground turkey is growing through the roof. My wife uses it for spaghetti sauces now. There are lots of opportunities with turkey to broaden the menu," Rowland said.

A menu that is serving the economy in small town South Dakota.

Hendrix Genetics plans to hire around 100 people to work in the new hatchery.
In order to work at the plant, you can't raise poultry or pigs yourself.  This is to prevent the spread of diseases.

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