How A Deli Meat Factory Made SC A Turkey-Producing Giant
by Thad Moore, The Post And Courier Of Charleston
Posted: 2017-12-29 15:46:57 EST

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Every year, 12 million or so turkey hatchlings arrive in South Carolina, bound for hundreds of farms in the Pee Dee and the Upstate where they will be raised for months.

By one estimate, the turkeys — mostly males, known as toms — will be worth more than $400 million a year once they've all grown up. They'll easily be the state's second-largest farm product, far bigger than iconic crops like peaches, cotton or tobacco. Only chickens will contribute more to the state's agriculture sector.

But the enormous size of the turkey industry here has little to do with the state's farming traditions. South Carolina hardly has a long heritage as a poultry-producing state. The grains the birds eat aren't grown here, either.

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