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Feast On Thanksgiving Holiday Fun Facts

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 19.2 million birds raised last year? This is 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!

Benjamin Franklin
If he had his way the Turkey would be the National bird instead of the Bald Eagle!

First Meal in Space
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.

50 mph
The top speed a wild turkey can fly. It can run up to 20 mph. Domesticated turkeys do not fly or run as fast.

$6.18 billion
Estimated value of the turkeys produced in the Nation for 2016. That's talking turkey!

5.98 billion
Estimated number of pounds of turkey raised in the US in 2016.

Average retail price per pound for a frozen whole turkey in 2016.

19.2 million
The number of turkeys raised in Missouri in 2016.

The weight in pounds of the heaviest domestic turkey raised by Tyson in 1989.

Missouri’s rank in turkey production in the United States for 2016.

The nation’s leading turkey producer at 44.5 million birds, followed by North Carolina (33.5 million), Arkansas (26.0 million), Indiana (19.5) and Missouri (19.2 million).

Thanksgiving TurkeyTop  Producing States

Over $259 thousand in exports of Turkey and Turkey by-products were exported to Mexico from the U.S. through the 3rd quarter of 2017 followed by Mauritius ($84,315), Canada ($75,680) and Bermuda ($43,456)

1.4 billion
The total number of pounds of pumpkins produced in the United States in 2016.

The total number of acres in pumpkin production in the Nation in 2016.

The number of pumpkins produced per acre in the United States in 2016.

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.

50.9 million
The number of Americans that plan to travel more than 50 miles over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. This is a 3.3% increase from last year and the highest travel volume since 2005.


American Automobile Association (AAA); U.S. Census Bureau; United States Department of Agriculture
USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)


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