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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Turkey Too Big? Make More Sandwiches

Cooked Turkey

The pandemic has caused lost sales in several industries across northern Illinois, but one turkey farmer said sales are on track for his business. He admitted he’s seeing changes in other areas.

Robert Kauffman is the president of Kauffman Turkey Farms in Waterman. He said he wasn’t sure how the pandemic would impact his business. 

“I didn't know what to expect,” he admitted. “But I do know we're doing much more over-the-counter sales right now. More people are coming in buying products.”

Kauffman explained that customers are doing this instead of purchasing at grocery stores or other outlets.
He also shared that some butchers have asked him for smaller turkeys in anticipation of smaller gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Well, there's been a lot of talk about it. But I haven't seen a lot of action. So, I don't know what's going to be happening,” Kauffman said. “Because honestly, I started raising these turkeys four months ago. It's not like I can keep them all small.”

Kauffman said he feels people are going to gather as best they can. He is suggesting that some will follow COVID-19 restrictions and some won’t. And he said a bigger turkey means more turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving.

  • Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.