Pasture-Raised Heritage Turkeys in a Dryland Farming System

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $6,413.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Montana
Principal Investigator:


  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, housing, free-range
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study
  • Soil Management: organic matter

    Proposal summary:

    In an effort to diversify a north central Montana, organic, dryland farm, this Farmer/Rancher Grant will begin production of heritage turkeys on pasture. Turkeys could provide a high-value alternative crop for local farmers that are watching the vitality of their farming communities decline. Despite the population drop, demand for local food is growing in the area, providing a market for sustainable, local goods.

    In addition, raising heritage turkeys will help conserve the breed, while benefiting the farm through tillage, building soil fertility and providing an alternative enterprise for an unsure agriculture community. Information will be published in several newspapers and websites, and University of Montana students will visit the farm on a field day.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.