MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. — From cranberries to turkeys, Michigan farmers can provide everything needed to dress your Thanksgiving table. Of course, the centerpiece of it all is the bird in the middle and Tom Otto's Turkey Farm has been raising those turkeys since 1846.
“We raise our turkeys in a barn mainly because we can keep them safe from the elements," farmer Nate Otto tells FOX 17.
The birds live out in the harsh Michigan weather and have free range in the barn to roam around.
“If you have a happy turkey, you’re going to have a better product," Otto explains. "We care about our turkeys. It’s not all about production here, we take pride in going the extra step to do it right.”
Apparently doing it the "Otto way" does make a difference, because people come from all over to buy their Thanksgiving bird from them.
“There’s folks that come from a long way like Traverse City, Chicago, the East side of the state and they take a full day just to come get a turkey," Otto said.
One of those people was Mike Allerding who drove in from Jenison to get his bird like he does every year, “Why? Because it’s the best.”
The Ottos will sell 12,000 turkeys for Thanksgiving tables across the Midwest.
“We absolutely eat turkey on Thanksgiving." Otto says, "We just throw it in the pan put it in the oven, wait till she’s done and enjoy.”
While the Ottos cook their bird the traditional way, Mike Allerding does his a little different, "I hand it over to my wife and say good luck and godspeed."