Micah Heatwole is no stranger to farming. “I’m the third generation to be on this property in the Shenandoah Valley. My great-grandfather was one of the first people to haul feed…he owned the feed mill to feed all these turkeys.”
Family has been the bedrock of Edom Hill Farms for over 30 years. Originally purchased by Micah’s grandfather in the 1950s as a dairy farm, the Edom Hill Farm grew to include poultry farming in the 1990s.
“I think farming just gets in your blood. I didn’t realize that when I left the farm.”
Micah left the family farm, only to return several years later. “Around 2004 my dad retired from farming,” says Micah. His father rented out the farm until 2011 when Micah decided he wanted to raise his family on the farm.
"You get to watch things grow. It’s very gratifying."
A rewarding life
Turkey farming is hard work. Day or night, winter or summer, keeping the turkeys happy and healthy takes a lot of time and dedication. But the work provides Micah’s family with many rewards.
Micah is very aware of the role he plays in so many lives. “Sometimes when I’m walking the barns, I think about the people who will be feeding their families with these birds. It makes me feel good to know that I’m making a difference,” says Micah.
“It’s exciting to think about that, as their families come together, that I have a part in that. Being able to put the best product forward.”
"At no point are they ever given any antibiotics or hormones for promoting growth."
Turkeys raised right
Micah knows the importance of raising turkeys with care — his greatest desire is to make their life as easy and comfortable as possible. There’s a lot of misconceptions about turkey farming and how things are done,” says Micah.
As the fifth generation of the family grows up on the family farm, the Heatwoles are looking forward to what’s next. “I would love to see my children take over farming, and really grasp onto the love of what it means to be a turkey farmer.”