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Local turkeys touted by ag experts

ANNAPOLIS, MD  – This Thanksgiving, Maryland families are encouraged to purchase local, farm-fresh turkeys from one of the many Maryland turkey growers across the state.

“For the freshest, best tasting turkey this Thanksgiving, order a locally raised Maryland turkey,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Don’t forget to place your orders early for local Thanksgiving turkeys, as many Maryland farms will sell out. The high demand for these birds is evidence to the superior flavor in a fresh, local turkey."

According to the latest USDA Census in 2012, 117 Maryland farms sold 154,404 turkeys. Turkeys sold directly from the farm to the consumer account for a small portion of the total production. By purchasing a locally-raised turkey, consumers will help support our family farms and community.

This year, why not try using a farm fresh heritage breed turkey. Check out Lucie Snodgrass’s Roast Heritage Turkey recipe from her cookbook, Dishing Up Maryland. While you’re at it, add a touch of Maryland flare to your holiday meal by pairing it with local wine, such as the 2015 Governor’s Cup Competition Best in Class, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Chardonnay Reserve 2014. Other Governor’s Cup winning wines can be found at www.marylandwine.com/awards.

To find a local turkey for your Thanksgiving feast, visit www.marylandsbest.net. The website, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Department, lists many farms throughout the state that sell farm-fresh turkeys. Consumers can also find local cheeses, wines, beer, and other Maryland products to serve during the holidays.

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