The existence of GMOs in our food supply seems to be the most recent "hot topic" for consumers. In recent months we have begun fielding more questions on this topic than any other.
Let's start with the basics: A GMO is a Genetically Modified Organism. Sometimes the acronym GE is used for Genetically Engineered or GM for Genetically Modified. Genetic modifications occur in nature, but what most folks are concerned about are the modifications that take place in a laboratory setting. Using the latest molecular biology techniques, crops/plants are modified to enhance desired traits, such as drought resistance, etc. Some have questions as to the safety, long term effects, necessity of GMOs, etc. The use of GMOs needs to be understood by consumers and farmers alike. Currently there are only 8 farm crops that have been genetically modified: Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Canola, Alfalfa, Sugar Beets, Papaya and Squash. That is why Cheerio's can say their product is GMO free - Cheerios are made with oats, and to date, oats have not been modified.
As farmers, parents, and consumers (we eat more of our turkey products than anyone we know!), we are satisfied that our practices are safe. Our feed is not free of GMOs and this is why: GMO free grains/feeds are difficult to source and even more difficult to prove as GMO free. The cost of GMO free grain/feeds was estimated at double our current cost by our feed company and the availability of such feeds could not be guaranteed. We purchase our soybeans and starter feed for our flocks but we also plant feed corn here on the farm. GMO corn seed (over 90% of available seed has been genetically modified) has allowed us to reduce use of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. This in turn improves our soil, water and air quality - this would be the same water and air that our turkeys and cattle share each day. We see this as a positive for all of us.
We encourage you to continue learning about GMOs and we will continue as well. We believe GMO crops can offer a number of benefits around the world, from the development of drought resistant crops that allow a farmer in Africa to feed his/her family, to modified foods that bring nutritional health benefits to children facing deficiencies due to hunger and malnutrition. Each family needs to make their own decision based upon their research, budget, needs, etc. Online resources are many, and there you will find many points of view. Here are some links which we feel present a fair view of GMO issues and we encourage you to visit them and then continue researching as you are led.