A Minnesota farm where turkeys were being raised for Jennie-O Turkey Store was badly damaged by a storm on June 20.
The storm, which was described as “brief but powerful,” was reported to produce large hail and winds that reached speeds of up to 78 miles per hour, according to KEYC. The affected farm is located near the community of St. James, in Watonwan County.
Two of three barns on the premises experienced major damage. Video footage of the barns showed portions of barn roofs that were torn from the barns, as well as large pieces of roofing on the ground.
About 16,000 birds were housed in each of the barns, but it was not immediately known how many turkeys were injured or killed in the storm.
The family living at the turkey farm was able to find shelter in town and no members of the farm were harmed in the storm, according to the report.
Jennie O Turkey Store, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods, is the second largest turkey company in the United States, trailing only Butterball in terms of production. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, Jennie-O Turkey Store slaughtered an estimated 1.23 billion pounds of live turkeys in 2018, which was a 1.2 percent increase when compared to the company’s production figures of 2017.
During Hormel Foods’ second quarter of fiscal year 2019, it reported that Jennie-O Turkey Store’s profits declined 45 percent as the company faced the lingering impact of two product recalls related to Salmonella concerns, as well as start-up challenges as it upgraded a processing plant in Melrose, Minnesota.
Hormel Foods is headquartered in Austin, Minnesota, while Jennie-O Turkey Store is based out of Willmar, Minnesota. Steve Lykken, who previously led Hormel’s Applegate subsidiary, was named president of Jennie-O Turkey Store in 2017.