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Fun Facts for the Thanksgiving Holiday

The Plymouth settlers first celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621 making it a time for gathering with friends and family, giving thanks, and ofTom Turkey
course – eating! Did you know that Missouri ranks fifth in turkey production in the United States with an estimated 19.0 million birds raised last year…just one of the facts MERIC has put together for you to gobble up to commemorate this holiday.

Abraham Lincoln
He declared Thanksgiving to be a National Holiday on Oct 3, 1863 making this year's Thanksgiving holiday over 150 years old!

19.0 million
Estimated number of turkeys raised in the Missouri in 2015. That's talking turkey!

233.1 million
Estimated number of turkeys raised in the the United States in 2015.

$801.3 million
The dollar value of turkeys raised in Missouri in 2015.

lbs of the heaviest domestic turkey raised by Tyson in 1989.

Missouri’s rank in turkey production in the United States for 2015.

The nation’s leading turkey producer at 41.0 million, followed by North Carolina (31.0 million), Arkansas (28.0 million), Indiana (19.0) and Missouri (19.0 million).

Thanksgiving TurkeyTop  Producing States

Over 648 thousand pounds of Turkey was exported to Mexico from the U.S. through the 3rd quarter of 2016 followed by Hong Kong (447,578 lbs), Canada (160,243 lbs) and Algeria (160,034 lbs)

$1.24 billion
The total number of pounds of pumpkins produced in the United States in 2012. Illinois led the states for pumpkin production followed by California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. Many of those pumpkins will end up on our tables as pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

The number of pumpkins produced per acre in the United States in 2012.

The number of acres Missouri harvested in pumpkin production in 2012.

2.08 millionSweet Potatoes
The number of pounds of sweet potatoes and potatoes produced in the Missouri in 2012.

The number one state in cranberry production in 2012 with 8.0 million barrels grown valued at over $230.7 million. Approximately 95% of cranberries are processed for juice or fruit juice blends. Missouri does not produce any cranberries because the tart fruit prefers much cooler climates.

Most popular way to travel over the Thanksgiving Holiday according to AAA.

48.7 million
The number of Americans that plan to travel more than 50 miles over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, the most since 2007 and a 1.9% increase from 2015.


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


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