Ferndale farm looks to rise from ashesTurkeys may not be phoenixes but don't tell John Peterson. Peterson said his family's Cannon Falls-based turkey hatchery is looking to rise stronger than ever after a fire devastated the operation last June.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
Turkeys may not be phoenixes but don't tell John Peterson.
Peterson said his family's Cannon Falls-based turkey hatchery is looking to rise stronger than ever after a fire devastated the operation last June.
The blaze destroyed one of the family's two turkey sites, killing roughly 25,000 fowl.
The fire was especially painful, Peterson said, because his family has always worked to treat their turkeys humanely. They raise most of their turkeys in free range or free roam settings.
"Anybody in agriculture worth their salt cares deeply about their animals," Peterson said. "It goes beyond a monetary loss."
The hatchery was part of the family's joint business venture that includes Ferndale Market, which sells locally grown food.
The devastated site, built in 1989, was one of two main farms the hatchery uses to raise turkeys. The other site is the family farm where the Petersons have raised turkeys for generations.
Peterson said it was hard to recover from the fire but his family decided it had to use the setback as an opportunity.
And they're doing just that.
The Petersons are building two new barns on the old site. The new barns will allow the family to raise turkeys on the site without the use of antibiotics, Peterson said. He said it's their latest effort to raise fowl in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.