As family and friends gather for Thanksgiving this week, there’s a good chance they eat birds produced in Indiana.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Hoosier State ranks fourth in the nation in turkey production. In 2021, Indiana produced 20.5 million turkeys, trailing only Arkansas (27 million), North Carolina (30 million) and Minnesota (40 million).
Indiana plays a pivotal role in meeting the U.S. demand for turkey, which sat around 4.86 billion pounds in 2022, per the USDA. In 2021 alone, U.S. turkey production generated $5.89 billion, according to the USDA.
USDA data indicates 216.5 million birds were raised in the U.S. in 2021. According to the National Turkey Federation, many of those birds are exported to foreign countries like Mexico, Canada, China and Guatemala.
NTF data shows that Mexico is the most valuable turkey export market, estimated to be worth $449.5 million. In comparison, the rest of the world’s turkey export markets combined are worth $160.5 million, per NTF.
Since 2014, the U.S. has exported 3.1 billion pounds of turkey meat — 450 million pounds of which have gone to Mexico, per NTF.
A Business Insider report indicates approximately 46 million turkeys are eaten around the Thanksgiving season — that’s roughly 22% of all turkeys produced in a year in the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the average commercial turkey sold at a grocery store weighs around 30 pounds. Business Insider estimates Americans eat more than a billion pounds of turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday.