Thanksgiving Facts to Gobble Up

Turkey DinnerSince the Plymouth settlers first celebrated in 1621, Thanksgiving has been a time for gathering with friends and family, giving thanks, and of course – eating! Did you know that Missouri ranks fourth in turkey production in the United States with an estimated 21 million birds raised this year…just one of the facts MERIC has compiled to nibble on to commemorate this holiday.

250 million
Estimated number of turkeys produced in the United States in 2009. That is a lot of turkey!

6.04 billion
The number of pounds of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009. Estimated receipts for these turkey sales are forecasted to be $3.8 billion.

Missouri’s rank in turkey production in the United States for 2009 with an estimated 21 million raised. Minnesota is the nation’s leading turkey producer at 45.5 million, followed by North Carolina (37.5 million), Arkansas (28 million), and Virginia (16.4 million).

Thanksgiving TurkeyTop  Producing States

The portion of U.S. turkey production made up by the top six turkey-producing states.

Piece of Pumpkin Pie1.1 billion pounds
The total production of pumpkins produced in the United States in 2008. Illinois led the states by producing 496 million pounds of pumpkins. Many of those pumpkins will end up on our tables as pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

The number of acres Missouri had in pumpkin production in 2007.

The Thanksgiving Green Beans number of farms Missouri had in snap green bean production in 2007, totaling 7,636 total acres. Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish. 

1.8 billionSweet Potatoes
The number of pounds of sweet potatoes produced in the nation in 2007. This is another popular dish many Americans serve at Thanksgiving dinner.

The number one state in cranberry production in 2007 with 400 million pounds grown. The United States produced a total of 709 million pounds of cranberries. Missouri does not produce any cranberries because the tart fruit prefers much cooler climates.

41 million
The number of people in the U.S. who will travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving holiday, down 1.5 percent from last year. Of those, an estimated 4.5 million will fly and 33.2 million will drive.

Sources: American Automobile Association; U.S. Census Bureau; United States Department of Agriculture


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