Thanksgiving shoppers will have the chance to buy birds raised close to home thanks to a new state law.
Two farms have been approved by the state Department of Agriculture through its new Poultry Slaughter Inspection Program, making more Connecticut grown poultry available this season.
MarWin Farm in New Hartford and Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm) in Sterling are the first two Connecticut poultry farms to be inspected and approved through the new state program, which resulted from passage of Public Act 10-103, An Act Concerning Farms, Food, and Jobs. MarWin Farm is raising approximately 2,500 chickens, 125 turkeys, and 200 specialty birds such as guinea hens and ducks. Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm has some 3,000 turkeys and 1,200 chickens in production.
"This new inspection program has enormous potential to get more Connecticut Grown poultry onto the plates of local consumers," said Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky. "It opens a new door for restaurants looking to serve Connecticut grown turkey, chicken, and duck on their menus because they are no longer limited to using USDA inspected poultry in order to comply with the public health code."
Because only one USDA inspected poultry processing facility currently exists in the state, MarWin, Ekonk Hill, and many other local farmers have until now opted to offer custom on-site processing of customer-owned birds. The new state program allows producers who successfully comply with requirements, pass inspection, and become approved to sell their poultry to an expanded customer base.
This story is based off a press release from the Department of Agriculture.