It’s 6 a.m. in Bell County, Texas. The sun is yet to peek over the horizon on what will become a steamy summer day, but Darrell Glaser is already strolling through his turkey houses to ensure the birds on his family farm are comfortable. The farm has been in Glaser’s family for nearly 100 years, and Darrell and his family have spent nearly every day tending to their turkeys.
At Bar G Farms, the Glasers – Darrell, his four sons and his mother – focus on raising healthy, happy birds. From monitoring and protecting them during a raucous Texas thunderstorm to checking air and water quality, the family does everything possible to ensure the well-being of their turkeys.
“Animal welfare is very important to all of us at Bar G Ranch,” Darrell said. “The happier and more comfortable the animal, the healthier they are going to be.”
Shady Brook Farms understands the connection between family farms and family holiday traditions. A November 2017 survey conducted by Shady Brook Farms revealed that 80 percent of consumers agree that during the holidays, it is important for their turkey to be raised by a family farm. Shady Brook Farms turkeys raised by family farmers can be found in local retailers in the eastern United States.
In Central Missouri, Glenn and Kathy Robertson have been raising Shady Brook Farms turkeys for 45 years on their family farm, with plenty of helping hands.
“On our farm, it has always been a family event,” Glenn said. “Kathy and our four children have always helped from getting ready for new poults to cleaning the building when they go to market. Now, my son, Ryan, is going to take over with help from our 15 grandchildren who all live on the farm.”
The Robertson family is very active at church and in the local community. Glenn coaches local basketball and baseball teams, contributes on the board of special services for special needs children and serves as the Boy Scouts’ youth director. When the Robertson family gathers for Thanksgiving dinner, they will be thinking about those who are spending time together enjoying a turkey raised on their farm.
Quality time together is also the favorite part of Thanksgiving for the Shepherd family in Coryell County, Texas. In 2012, Jordan and Megan Shepherd started raising turkeys on Spurrin’S Farms.
“We were looking for a great place to raise a family where we could live and work together, where we could be a part of each other’s lives and help to make a difference for the better,” Jordan said. “Here we have found all of that and more.”
Jordan and Megan have two children, Jaxon and Emma Rae, and Megan’s dad, Gene, joined them on the farm. The Shepherd family raises turkeys with care and compassion, and best of all, they get to be a part of each other’s lives on a day-to-day basis.
These family farmers are thriving raising holiday turkeys. They have a passion for the time they spend together, the well-being of their animals and the work they do.
“We put our heart and soul into what we do. We work long and odd hours to make sure our turkeys are healthy and safe,” Darrell Glaser said. “Farming is what we do, and we love it.”