Turkeys at the Bates farms are raised as free-range birds, which the family believes produces a higher-quality product. (Michael Cornelison)
Here’s my Alabama Living feature on Greenville, Alabama, mainstay Bates Turkey Farm:
After flying countless bombing missions in Europe during World War II, Bill Bates returned home and declared, “I never plan to stand in another line or ask anyone for a job.” Instead, he had one purpose in mind: To produce the finest turkeys ever to grace a table.
Many Alabamians are familiar with how the turkey farm business was started by Bill’s parents. In 1923, W.C. and Helen Hudson Bates, Bill’s mom and dad, received nine turkey eggs from his Aunt Mamie Bates as a wedding present. In 1935, with the Great Depression taking its toll on small farmers, this small gift became the source that saved the farm as the bank allowed the turkeys to be used as collateral. When Bill returned from the war, his parents needed help with the growing industry. He stayed, and the turkey business has grown significantly from those original eggs.
Check out an excerpt from my profile of Bader Farms from Missouri Life:
Missourians take pride in many things. There are the beautiful Ozark hills that gradually fade into the distance; clean, sparkling rivers that weave through the countryside like a ribbon fluttering in the wind; and rustic old mills that tell of a lifestyle generations ago. And then there are Bader peaches.
Growing up in the northwest edge of the Bootheel, Bill Bader stared working in the peach orchards as a high school student in 1970 to earn money to buy his school clothes. This part-time job changed his life.
Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers
Take a look at this article I did for Growing Magazine on the cherry industry:
On the average, there are 7,000 cherries on each cherry tree; 250 cherries make one pie; each tree makes 28 pies. If the average U.S. consumer eats 1 pound annually, this adds up to approximately 260 million pounds annually. Americans demand cherries—and growers are filling those expectations.
Often referred to as America’s Super Fruit, cherries are rising in popularity due to the recent focus on health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Instead of relying on fruits from foreign markets, health and nutrition experts advise consumers to look for American-grown fruit. An alternative to exotic berries grown and marketed in a foreign rainforest, the cherry packs a lot of nutrition. Plus, it’s available year-round as dried, canned, frozen and in juice.