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Lessons Learned. What not to do!. What Mission?. Make it Know it Stick to it GSTR’s mission is preservation Everyone gets mixed turkey flocks, even though some varieties don’t grow as quickly I.E. “We’re not abandoning the Black turkeys”. He said…She said….

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Lessons learned

Lessons Learned

What not to do!

What mission
What Mission?

  • Make it

  • Know it

  • Stick to it

  • GSTR’s mission is preservation

    • Everyone gets mixed turkey flocks, even though some varieties don’t grow as quickly

    • I.E. “We’re not abandoning the Black turkeys”

He said she said
He said…She said…

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate

  • Respect each other

  • Take notes

  • Record meetings

  • Keep records

Build it they ll come
Build it, they’ll come

  • Not!

  • Have a market

  • Have purchase contracts

  • Know inventory

  • Make a plan to move all product

    • Don’t have unsold birds sitting in locker

  • Pace growth

Mishandling birds
Mishandling Birds

  • Avoid losses at the end of the growing season caused by bruising and injury.

    • Learn to catch & load carefully

    • Timing of catching

    • Purchase proper transport boxes

    • Plant workers know how to catch & shackle

    • Stand at plant – watch and speak up

Poor quality
Poor Quality

  • Quality makes or breaks a reputation

  • Quality affects everyone

  • Quality is affected by:

    • Husbandry

    • Nutrition

    • Genetics

  • No turkey <8# or >28#. These are cut up and deboned.

Plan for losses
Plan for losses

  • 10% damage or loss in processing is normal

Learn the language
Learn the Language

  • Know your cuts

    • Whole bird

    • California Cut

    • Breast

    • Deboned & skinned

  • Learn to convert your live birds into cuts and pounds

Too little too much
Too Little…Too Much

  • Plan for loss

    • 10% during grow-out

    • 10% during processing

  • Plan for overage

    • Know what you’ll do if loss is less than predicted

Plant mistakes
Plant Mistakes

  • Lawyer vs. Lesson Learned – you choose

    • e.g. Refrigerate for 7 days, then freeze. Birds never frozen so they are ruined.

    • e.g. Lost product – where’d it go?

  • Negotiate at top levels with processor. However…

    • They have no liability for damaged birds or product

Not my job
Not My Job

  • Know who’s responsible for what

  • Sit down with everyone who will handle the birds

    • Processing

    • Trucking

    • Storage

    • Packaging

  • Get agreements in writing

Risk single source
Risk Single Source

  • Risk shared

    • Frank took all the losses in first years, paying farmers for all turkeys regardless of quality, then incurring losses for small & bruised birds.

  • Established quality control

  • Distribute flocks of mixed varieties

  • Flocks identified with farmer at processor

    • Paid according to graded dressed bird

  • Farmers invested in all aspects of company’s success



We Did It!

Standard turkey is best
Standard Turkey is Best

The Standard turkeys have lived up to their reputation.

GSTR has the very best Standard turkeys in the country

Preservation is possible
Preservation is Possible

Saving the standard breeds of poultry for what they were meant to be and do.