Tag Archives: turkey farm

Winter Storm Ion on the Farm

Sun. Feb 24, 1935

“This afternoon the weather began to change, a light mist was falling and this later changed to a snow.  The storm increased and turned into a regular blizzard.  Our turkeys are always out in the open during all kinds of weather and when this storm became very severe we discussed the necessity of shelter for them.  D.L. insisted that they had always taken care of themselves and that they would be in good shape and come thru it fine, but late in the evening we found that their feathers were becoming loaded with wet snow and ice and the heads covered with ice.  It seemed that the best thing would be to get them in the big barn and the only way to do this was carry them in.  We would make several trips thru the deep snow and the blizzard, then after coming to the house to melt the snow from our eyes and faces we would make several trips again.  In this way we finally had all of the flock under cover.  They are very hardy and very independent birds, but you could see that they appreciated the shelter of the big barn.  Had we known the storm would be so severe, we could have driven them inside early in the afternoon.”

Elmer G. Powers, Quietdale Farm, Boone County, Iowa

The Farm Diary of Elmer G. Powers, 1931-1936

Co-Edited by H. Roger Grant and L. Edward Purcell


This week, Winter Storm Ion brought bitter cold temperatures to Iowa.  How cold?  Actual temperature Sunday night was -12⁰F and wind chills reached -40 to -50⁰F.

turkey barn family farm Winter Storm Ion

 Although these cold temperatures are extreme, Iowa faces some tough weather every year.  Cold, snow, and ice are three of the reasons that Iowa’s turkey farmers raise their turkeys inside warm, climate controlled buildings.

Even during the coldest winter days, the turkeys on Iowa’s turkey farms will have no idea what the weather is like outside.  Inside their barns, they will have 24 hours access to food and clean water and be immune to the stress that cold weather could cause their bodies.



Caring for Turkeys in Winter Cold

Turkeys require care in all kinds of weather, even during Winter Storm Ion.  And Iowa’s turkey farmers are dedicated to animal welfare.

In this short video, the Iowa Turkey Federation’s president, Noel Thompson, explains how Iowa’s turkey farmers keep birds comfortable in the cold.




(Thanks to our friends at the Iowa Food and Family Project for providing the video.)

Iowa Girl Eats Tours a Turkey Farm (and makes Mini Salsa Turkey Meatloaves!)

In June, Kristin Porter, the blogger behind the amazing website, Iowa Girl Eats, toured a turkey farm in Ida Grove and then cooked up some lunch with the Iowa Turkey Federation’s Executive Director and Home Economist, Gretta Irwin.

Turkey farm tour
Kristin Porter, AKA Iowa Girl Eats, poses with a flock of turkeys on Dan Roeder’s farm near Ida Grove, IA.

Porter’s farm tour was part of the Iowa Food and Family Project‘s “Join My Journey” initiative, where Porter was invited to visit Iowa farms and share her experiences with her loyal readers.

Porter wrote about her turkey farm tour

kristin porter iowa girl eats turkey farm

And then shared this amazing turkey recipe on her blog.  Click through to find out how to make Mini Salsa Turkey Meatloaves!

mini salsa turkey meatloaves recipe iowa girl eats

Iowa State University Leaders Tour Turkey Farm

This summer Iowa State University President Steven Leath and Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture toured Circle Hill Farms.  We had a great time discussing the Iowa turkey industry and the relationships turkey farmers and allied members have with ISU.

ISU leaders tour turkey barn
Paul Hill, Nathan Hill, Iowa State University President Leath, Noel Thompson, and Dean Wendy Wintersteen


“It is reassuring to know that we have a President at Iowa State that is sincerely interested in animal agriculture & understands how important it is to the economics of our State.”    ~ Nathan Hill

“Gretta arranged a great tour and conversation and the Hill family provided great hospitality. President Leath and I were impressed by Circle Hill Farm’s facilities and the high level of management demonstrated by Paul, Noel and Nathan. The story of West Liberty Foods is inspirational. It demonstrates the importance of processing in Iowa and how agriculture can strengthen our rural communities.”

~ Wendy Wintersteen

“My visit to the Circle Hill Farm turkey operation was fantastic,” said Iowa State University President Steven Leath.  “The Hills let me see first-hand the outstanding job Iowa’s turkey producers are doing and also told me about Iowa’s turkey processing industry.  This is a very important part of Iowa’s economy, and I really appreciate all that Gretta Irwin and the Hill family did to make this visit possible.”

turkey barn tour
Farmer Paul Hill and Iowa State University President Steven Leath inside one of Hill’s turkey barns.