Meet the Farmers behind Your Thanksgiving Turkey

olthoff 2013 (61)With Thanksgiving preparations underway, it seems like everyone is talking turkey. Thanks (insert sarcasm) to the FoodBabe, some folks are questioning whether their Thanksgiving turkey is safe to eat.

So Iowa turkey farmer Katie Olthoff is setting the record straight! Earlier this month she drafted a response to the FoodBabe’s unfounded and erroneous information to give consumers the truth about turkey:

“As farmers, we have two top priorities: animal welfare and food safety. Every single decision we make that influences either of those outcomes is thoroughly researched by my husband and I and the network of veterinarians, animal nutritionists, and scientists we work with regularly.”

Earlier this week, Bart and Katie took viewers inside their turkey barns during an interview by ABC5. They’re also sharing the facts through a new book, My Family’s Farm, which is available online. This week Katie was gracious enough to answer some interview questions below, so I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about her family’s farm and her new book!

cover_thumb[3]Shannon: Tell us about your new book.

Katie: My Family’s Farm is a non-fiction children’s book written about our farm from the point of view of our 6-year-old son, Adam. It features photographs of our farm and additional text for older students and adults.

Shannon: What prompted you to write the book?

Katie: A couple of years ago, Adam asked me why we don’t live on a “regular farm.” He thought we should have a couple of pigs, a dairy cow and some sheep. I realized that children’s media only portrays livestock farms like “Old MacDonald’s.”

I wanted to show modern livestock farms, and help my son and others realize that our farm is a “regular farm.”

Shannon: Two years ago… so this has been in the works a while.

Katie: Yes, writing the book was the easy part. The photography took longer, but the real issue was publishing. Getting a book published through a traditional publisher is a challenge. The Iowa Turkey Federation offered to help me self-publish the book, so I took them up on their offer and finished the project.

Shannon: How can people get a copy of the book?

Katie: The best way is to check it out online! It is available as a FREE e-book at or The Iowa Turkey Federation is graciously giving away copies to teachers in Iowa, too. Just email to request your copy.

Shannon: One final questions, “Does your family eat a lot of turkey?”

Katie: We sure do! At least one of us eats turkey every day! My boys are sort of picky eaters, but they love turkey pepperoni and lunchmeat. I use turkey instead of chicken and ground turkey instead of ground beef in almost all of my cooking.

Today on the TheFieldPosition, Katie is sharing her son’s favorite Turkey Snack Sandwiches. Here are a a few additional recipes you can make.

Additional Turkey Recipes:

Adam’s Turkey Snack Sandwiches



  • Crackers (we use Wheat Thins)
  • Cream Cheese (Garden Vegetable is Adam’s fave)
  • Turkey Lunch Meat or Pepperoni



  1. Spread cream cheese on crackers.
  2. Top with a small piece of turkey lunch meat or slice of turkey pepperoni.