When John Winand talks, turkeys listen. The truck-driver-turned farmer commands the attention of his feathered tenants with a booming preacher’s voice and steady gait. “When we walk in here, the birds get up. They recognize our voices,” says Winand, as he makes a morning visit to his barns. “It’s amazing. You can have all this technology, but time spent with the birds is your number-one performance.”
Winand and his family have been raising turkeys for Plainville Farms, a national brand that specializes in organic, antibiotic-free poultry, for 25 years in rural York County, Pennsylvania, just outside historic Gettysburg. He’s a seasoned farmer now, but taking the turkey route wasn’t always on his horizon. When the self-described former bad boy decided it was time for a life change, he went all in, joining a church with his wife, Debbie, and starting a farm not far from where they grew up. Today, you’ll most often find this father and grandfather making the rounds at his farms—tending to his flock of thousands of turkeys.
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