The Doyle family of Stilwell received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee’s District Six Farm and Ranch Family Recognition during the organization’s 78th annual meeting on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Oklahoma City.
Kevin and Kim Doyle farm in Adair County, raising cattle, turkeys and operating a custom haying business. After more than three decades in the dairy business milking cows, the Doyle family started raising turkeys in 2017, then retired the dairy in 2018 and started raising beef cattle.
Today, the family raises turkeys in two modern turkey houses, which integrate computer systems and efficient LED lighting to ensure the birds have the optimal temperature, air quality and environment.
“It’s all about keeping the bird growing at a healthy rate,” Kevin said. “Overall, though, it’s for the bird’s health.”
The turkeys the Doyle family raises are sold as Honeysuckle White whole turkeys in grocery stores, many of which are part of Thanksgiving meals. The Doyle family participated in a traceability pilot program to connect them with consumers buying their birds. Shoppers can scan a QR code on the packaging to learn about the family that raised the bird they are buying, including the Doyles.
“We work really hard and we’re going to eat that bird, too, so we’re going to take care of it like it’s supposed to be taken care of,” Kim said. “We’re going to do all the things that you’re supposed to do to keep the birds handled safely. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into your Thanksgiving bird.
“Everybody wants to know where their food comes from. It does connect us with the customer and let them see that we are a hard-working family and we’re all working together to bring them their Thanksgiving turkey.”
The Doyles are proud to have raised six children on the farm: Jen, Kim, Heath, Brandon, Mackenzie and Katie.
“Just to have a good family behind you, supporting you, working with you, you’ll be successful,” Kevin said of working as a farm family.
The Doyle family focuses on the connection they have with consumers as they work to raise turkeys and cattle they know will go on to be featured on the tables of families far and wide.
“To walk into a grocery store like back when I milked and seeing the milk there and knowing that I helped put it there – and now it’s the Thanksgiving bird – it just gives you a sense of pride that you’re helping feed the world,” Kevin said. “It kinds of makes those bad days, you know, get a little better.”
Kevin serves as the chairman of the Adair County Farm Service Agency Board and Kim serves as secretary of the Adair County Fair Board. The family supports a variety of programs in their community through donations, including the Adair County Fair Board, the Adair County Health Coalition and their local school’s angel tree program.
OKFB’s Farm & Ranch Family Recognition program honors a farm and ranch family in each of OKFB’s nine districts who upholds the best traditions of Oklahoma agriculture and rural Oklahoma as they raise food and fiber for our state and beyond.
“Our farm and ranch families do a tremendous job caring for the land and their animals as they work to feed and clothe us all,” said Mignon Bolay, OKFB WLC chair. “Our Women’s Committee is proud to honor these great families who help make rural Oklahoma a wonderful place to live.”
As part of their recognition, the family received a cash award along with a custom sign to hang at their farm gate.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is the organization’s largest yearly gathering of farmers and ranchers. At the event, members vote on grassroots policy, elect leaders and award outstanding individuals. OKFB has a presence in all 77 Oklahoma counties and serves as the voice of agriculture and the rural way of life. To learn more, visit www.okfarmbureau.org.