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an alabama thansgiving tradition lives on at bates turkey farm. picture shows many turkeys. under picture it says, each year, bates turkey farm in logan, ala., raises about 50,000 turkeys that are served at bates house of turkey in greenville and shipped all over the united states. (emmett burnett)

by bob carlton bcarlton@al.com. the pecan orchard where thousands of turkeys freely roamed just a couple of weeks ago is kind of quiet now, empty except for a few lonesome birds. inside the cluttered offices at bates turkey farm in rural lowndes county, though, it's as busy as the post office the week before christmas. "hello, bates turkey farm," becky bates sloane says as she answers the phone. "yes ma'am...ok, can you hold on a second?" sloane, who has a visitor, hollers to someone in the adjoining room: "you want to take this order?" the latest flock of about 4,000 turkeys arrived here as day-old poults from a hatchery in ohio about four months ago, and they'll leave here in styrofoam ice chests, destined for thanksgiving dinner tables from the carolinas to california. "we ship a lot to california," sloane says. "we've had regular customers in california for 25, 30 years. and we ship a lot up the east coast and to georgia, tennessee, louisiana, texas. pretty much everywhere."

southern living

i beg your pardon. a plea to keep this thanksgiving tradition alive. rick bragg.

has president ronald reagan with four other people with a turkey. photo by smith collection/gado/getty images

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 9.58.06 AM.pngi am sorry for bothering you in this hectic season, and i hate to take you away from the 18th hole and your negotiations with the prince of something or other. i'm a man who believes in traditions; we are funny that way down here. one of my favorites is the annual holiday photo opportunity at the white house involving the president, his family, and the presidential turkey.this year, i recommend ordering out for your thansgiving spread. maybe on your way down to florida, you could wheel through alabama and get a whole dinner to go at bates house of turkey restaurant in greenville. every day is like thanksgiving there, because every meal they serve features turkey. i love it! please at least think about my request to be lenient, and remember, christmas is coming.