PORTLAND -- The news that Butterball, the nation's largest turkey processor is having a shortage of fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving, could mean big business for local turkey farmers.
While the small family farms in the Northwest make up only a fraction of the overall market no local turkey farmers are all too broken-up over the Butterball shortage.
Hundreds of turkeys from Champoeg Farm in Saint Paul, Ore. will end up on dinner tables next week for Thanksgiving.
It's a huge boost to the local economy and a huge boost to all of us, the small producers, said Mark Anderson.
Anderson is the owner of Champoeg Farm and talked about what the Butterball turkey shortage will mean for him.
More potential for people to stop and go 'Wait a second, Butterball's not available. What are my other options? Anderson said.
Butterball said the decline has to do with some of their turkey's not gaining enough weight at some of its farms.
That means fewer large fresh turkeys.
No. No, I'm definitely not sad about it, said Anderson.
This year, Anderson sold more turkeys than last.
He said he's sold 400 turkeys at New Seasons and another 100 at the Beaverton Farmer's Market.
He also has turkeys at his farm that customers will pick-up over the next several days.
He said there are about a dozen Oregon farms just like his that sell local pastured turkeys.
There are more producers like me, small producers, than you would think, he said.
Some local farmers, like Kendra Kimbirauskas from Goat Mountain Pastured Meats are pre-selling directly to customers.
We sold out a few weeks ago, so I have a lot of folks that really want these birds, said Kimbirauskas.
We like to buy these turkeys because we think they taste a lot better than the store-bought brand. We also like to support a local farmer, said customer Hillary Barbour.
By the way, the Butterball shortage is only for fresh turkeys.
The company said it has plenty of frozen turkeys out there.