Editor's Pick

A Wild Goose Chase To Find Turkey Farmers

Carson Jorgensen walks through one of his family's four turkey sheds to make sure all the equipment is functioning and none of the birds have died. i i

hide captionCarson Jorgensen walks through one of his family's four turkey sheds to make sure all the equipment is functioning and none of the birds have died.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald
Carson Jorgensen walks through one of his family's four turkey sheds to make sure all the equipment is functioning and none of the birds have died.

Carson Jorgensen walks through one of his family's four turkey sheds to make sure all the equipment is functioning and none of the birds have died.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald

In the small town of Mount Pleasant, Utah, turkey is big business. It's quite possibly the biggest business in the county. That's why Spenser Heaps, a photo intern at the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah, set out to find some turkey farmers.

Heaps' first step was to contact Johansen Turkey Farms, which he had read an article about; when that failed, he thought maybe he'd hop in a car and try to find the farm. But finding it in the sprawling landscape of Utah proved to be a wild goose chase.

Turkeys at about 12 weeks of age in one of the Jorgensens' sheds. The Jorgensens raise their turkeys for 19 weeks and produce about 60,000 turkeys each year. i i

hide captionTurkeys at about 12 weeks of age in one of the Jorgensens' sheds. The Jorgensens raise their turkeys for 19 weeks and produce about 60,000 turkeys each year.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald
Turkeys at about 12 weeks of age in one of the Jorgensens' sheds. The Jorgensens raise their turkeys for 19 weeks and produce about 60,000 turkeys each year.

Turkeys at about 12 weeks of age in one of the Jorgensens' sheds. The Jorgensens raise their turkeys for 19 weeks and produce about 60,000 turkeys each year.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald

Heaps recalled via email, "I arrived at their address, which was their home and not their farm. No one was home. I asked their neighbor where their farm was, and he pointed me west. I drove west until I saw some big poultry sheds and pulled in. Wrong farm, this was the Jorgensens, not the Johansens. I got some really round-about directions from one of these farmers, and eventually navigated through a grid of dirt roads to find the farm I was after. Nobody there."

Ultimately, Heaps decided to focus on the Jorgensens. Though it was not the farm he was originally after, he got what he was looking for in the end.

Angie Jorgensen pushes a ewe along as she loads up two trucks to take the sheep out to the desert for the winter. The automation of turkey farming allows the Jorgensens to spend more time on raising sheep and farming hay and grain. i i

hide captionAngie Jorgensen pushes a ewe along as she loads up two trucks to take the sheep out to the desert for the winter. The automation of turkey farming allows the Jorgensens to spend more time on raising sheep and farming hay and grain.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald
Angie Jorgensen pushes a ewe along as she loads up two trucks to take the sheep out to the desert for the winter. The automation of turkey farming allows the Jorgensens to spend more time on raising sheep and farming hay and grain.

Angie Jorgensen pushes a ewe along as she loads up two trucks to take the sheep out to the desert for the winter. The automation of turkey farming allows the Jorgensens to spend more time on raising sheep and farming hay and grain.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald

"Driving to a never-before-visited town, knocking on doors, arriving unannounced at farms and talking my way into a story brought back a heavy sense of nostalgia for the exploration I did as a student." For Heaps, it's about the journey and the connections along the way.

The Jorgensens' sheep are guided down the road to their corral. i i

hide captionThe Jorgensens' sheep are guided down the road to their corral.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald
The Jorgensens' sheep are guided down the road to their corral.

The Jorgensens' sheep are guided down the road to their corral.

Spenser Heaps/Daily Herald

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