Turkey farmers say labor shortage will impact holidays

Robert Kauffman runs Ho-Ka Turkey Farms in Waterman, Illinois. He says the problem isn’t the turkeys. It’s having the people to dress them – take the feathers off and get them ready to cook.

“I’ve been real worried about getting temporary help for the dressing season,” Kauffman said.

He says he raises about 60,000 turkeys a year, most of which are sold in November. He usually brings in about 100 temporary workers. Right now, he has seven.

“I can dress with a skeleton crew but I don’t like to. And I won’t get the numbers I need. If I have a nice full dressing line, we can do maybe 2,500 birds a day. The pace I like to have,” said Kauffman.