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Tanya Hall
Indiana Business Research Center

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving in Indiana in 2009: A menu of fun facts and figures

Some statistics from the Indiana Business Research Center

Nov. 19, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Just in time for Thanksgiving Day next Thursday (Nov. 26), the Indiana Business Research Center in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has offered a menu of interesting statistics.

Thanksgiving Dinner

  • 14.5 million turkeys were produced in Indiana in 2008. The Hoosier state accounted for 5.3 percent of national turkey production. This output was less than one-third of Minnesota's leading production of 48 million turkeys.
  • The value of Indiana's 2008 turkey production totaled $306.3 million. Indiana ranked fifth in value of turkeys raised, following Minnesota, North Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas.
  • The total weight of all Hoosier turkeys was 519.1 million pounds, compared to 1.3 billion pounjds in Minnesota and 1.2 billion pounds in North Carolina.
  • The typical whole turkey purchased at a store is a hen, or female, and weighs 15.3 lbs. After 14 weeks and roughly 41 pounds of feed, hens are ready for market. Their feed consists of a balanced diet of corn and soybeans mixed with supplements and vitamins.
  • To feed the 14.5 million turkeys produced in Indiana, only 1.4 percent, or 15.1 million bushels, of Indiana's 2008 production of corn and soybeans is used.
  • The male turkey, or tom, typically weighs 30 pounds at market and is used for cutlets, tenderloins, turkey sausage, turkey franks, and turkey deli meats.

Side Dishes

  • Indiana's 2008 production of snap, or green, beans for processing, as opposed to sold fresh, weighed in at 14 tons. This number is down from 15.8 tons in 2007. Indiana's 2008 production accounted for 1.7 percent of the nation's total and ranked Indiana eighth among states.
  • Indiana's share of U.S. fresh sweet corn production was 1.3 percent, with an output of 378,000 hundredweight in 2008. Note that a hundredweight is equal to 100 pounds.
  • Indiana's 2008 production of cucumbers weighed in at 7,310 tons with a value of $2.6 million. Indiana's production made up 1.3 percent of the nation's total production for processing and ranked ninth among states.
  • Hens in Indiana laid 520 million eggs in Indiana from September 2008 to September 2009. The majority of these, 97.3 percent, were used as table eggs, as opposed to hatching eggs. Indiana's egg production made up 7.1 percent of the U.S. total.
  • It is unlikely that your Thanksgiving Day helpings of potatoes, sweet potatoes or cranberries were produced in Indiana, as a tiny amount of state's agricultural acres relative to other states are dedicated to these crops.

Giving Thanks for Each Other

  • The estimated annual economic contribution of volunteerism in Indiana amounted to $4.5 billion. The highest percentage of volunteer hours was dedicated to fundraising, 28.1 percent in Indiana. The collection and distribution of food, a common activity on Thanksgiving Day, came in second in Indiana, at 25 percent.
  • 29.5 percent of Hoosier adults volunteered in Indiana in 2008, contributing 205.2 million hours of time to others.

What's in a Name?

  • Indiana is so named because of the number of Native Americans, then known as Indians, on the north bank of the Ohio River when settlers were moving from the east to the west. It was admitted as the 19th state in 1816.
  • There are 28 places in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. Plymouth, Ind., is among these numbers and had a population of 11,038 in 2008.

"As you celebrate your Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to thank a farmer who has labored to produce the food that you enjoy sharing with friends and family," said Tanya Hall, an economic research analyst at the IBRC and also a family farmer.

The Indiana Business Research Center is part of a national network of State Data Centers and acts as the official state representative to the Census Bureau on matters relating to the census and population estimates. The IBRC also develops and maintains STATS Indiana, the award winning, state-supported Web service (