Indiana is known as a top five state for producing corn and pork, but the state is also gaining a reputation as a major player in the turkey industry. Last week, President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys raised in Jasper, which will now live out their lives at Purdue University. Another turkey operation, this one based near Zionsville, has seen continuous growth since 2005 when it began with three turkeys, a number that has since grown to nearly 250.

Around INdiana Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman visited Little by Little Farm to get up close to Thanksgiving’s favorite bird.

Little by Little Farm was started by Robert Pinder and his wife, Stephanie. Pinder spends his days as the head of case monitoring and governance for Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis. He says it was his family that led to him adding turkeys to his farm.

“We were going at the time every Thanksgiving to my wife’s aunt’s house,” said Pinder. “One year, she said, ‘You guys should try raising a turkey.’ At the time, we had chickens and I said, ‘Okay, we’ll give it a try. Why not?’ We did a blind taste test. We had a store-bought turkey and this turkey of ours, carved it up, put it on the table, and everybody loved our turkey.”

Pinder says the farm ended up with 243 turkeys this year, double the amount from 2020, and it still not enough to meet demand.

“We sold out all of our turkeys about two weeks ago and every day, we’re probably getting 5-10 calls asking, ‘Hey, do you have any turkeys?'”

Pinder says he has goals for further growth at the farm.

“I’d love to be able to have this to be my full-time passion, my full-time job…continue growing, maybe expand a few more acres, increase production.”