Do you know where your turkey is coming from? - WSPA.com

Do you know where your turkey is coming from?

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

Local poultry farmer Jan Campbell has seen her business increase over the years.

Campbell, owner of Homestead Harvest Farms in Wake Forest, sold all 67 of her turkeys this year, with the four remaining being held for Christmas.

"This is our fifth year and we sell out every year," Campbell said. 

Campbell said the turkeys most Americans will buy from the supermarket are ready for the table in less than half that time it takes the turkeys she raises. 

"They're getting nutrients coming from the environment," Campbell said. "There's less feed cost for me but they grow slower, so they take 37 weeks to get a turkey to weight."

She said most Americans will be eating a white turkey that matures in 16 weeks. A few years ago, an undercover investigation by "Mercy for Animals" revealed two employees at Butterball abusing turkeys at a Hoke County facility.

Following the undercover investigation, Butterball immediately addressed the problem by dismissing the two employees involved in the abuse.

North Carolina State University Associate Professor Michael Martin said the investigation is not indicative of Butterball or the industry.

"Butterball has had, and continues to have policies in place for animal welfare, protecting the animals that are in their care," Martin said.

Martin is on the Animal Advisory Committee for Butterball. He said Butterball had policies in place protecting the animals before the abuse video went viral.

But Campbell believe customers can taste the difference in turkeys raised in a Butterball-type environment compared to what is at Homestead Harvest.

"They're not afraid and they haven't got all those endorphins running their bodies when it's time so that's transferred to the customer," Campbell said.

But that difference comes with a price. A 15 pound turkey Homestead Harvest costs around $120 dollars, an amount some families may not be able to afford.

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