Turkey lovers won’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy their favorite fowl, thanks to a new project at Fresno State cooked up with Zacky Farms of Fresno. Starting Thursday, June 7, student-produced turkeys, packaged by Zacky Farms, will be sold at California State University, Fresno’s Farm Market.
A presentation at 9 a.m. Thursday will mark the arrival of the first of the project’s 1,300 turkeys at the market, located at Chestnut and Barstow avenues.
Richard Zacky, owner of Zacky Farms, will join animal science professor Michelle Ganci, who oversees the poultry unit; Dr. Art Parham, Animal Science Department chair; and Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
They will unveil the new Fresno State Young Turkeys freezer display. They also will discuss the latest partnership between the university and private industry to provide a well-rounded academic and practical experience for Fresno State ag students.
Farm Market patrons can sample a turkey breakfast recipe prepared by Fresno State Culinology0 student Quinn Zweigle that also uses other student-produced products. Zweigle will discuss ways to barbecue turkey during the summer grilling season.
The partnership, intended to promote a better understanding of the poultry industry, places 12-24 qualified students in a summer intern program at Zacky Farms’ downtown Fresno processing plant and its various other facilities. The project is part of a poultry management course offered through the Animal Science Department for the past three springs.
“This is a great opportunity both for Zacky Farms and Fresno State students wishing to experience a work project within the poultry industry before graduation,” said Ganci. “Students benefit from technical training and job exposure, while Zacky Farms has gained many talented potential skilled full-time and long-term employees.”
Students raise the turkeys on the campus farm under the guidance of faculty members and with financial and technical support from Zacky farms. Students were involved in all aspects of the project from everyday poultry maintenance, such as checking data on water treatments and diet, to research assistance. The birds are processed at Zacky
Farms and sold through the university’s poultry enterprise, one of 20 such operations on the farm.
The frozen turkeys will sell for $1.09 a pound. As with all student farm products, proceeds help strengthen Fresno State’s teaching and research programs in agriculture.
Cryovac, an international food packaging company and division of Sealed Air Corporation, donated the packaging as well as the logo. It was designed by Fresno State alumnus Brian Young, a Fresno region sales representative for Cryovac.
Fresno State student Laura Henson, an agricultural education major who is a Smittcamp Family Honors College participant, provided extensive research assistance to Ganci and created a presentation for Zacky Farms that will be displayed at Thursday’s event.
The Farm Market’s summer hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about the project call 559.278.297. To contact the Farm Market call 559.278.4511.
Related link: http://www.zacky.corn/