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THE 3 MINUTE INTERVIEW: Chris Bohrer

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Local,Maryland,People,Kytja Weir

As manager of Maple Lawn Farms in southern Howard County, Bohrer has been raising turkeys for 25 years at the family-owned farm. He's now working in overdrive to make sure locals have fresh turkeys for their tables.

How many turkeys do you raise and how many are you expecting to sell for Thanksgiving?

We raise 20,000, and we'll sell about 90 percent of them. A few we keep for Christmas and restaurants during the year.

What does that mean for you all to process that many in such a short time?

A lot of long days.

How long have you been raising turkeys?

The farm has been raising turkeys for 74 years ... It was started by my wife's grandparents. They got turkeys as a wedding present and sold some that same year.

More people are focused on buying local food. Have you all noticed more or different consumers?

I think it probably started eight to 10 years ago that we saw a real uptick. Every year it increases. People want locally grown, and they want to know where their food comes from.

So your website says you all sell up to 50-pound turkeys. That's as big as two toddlers. Who buys those turkeys and how do they have ovens big enough to cook them?

We have a lot of people who've been coming every year for 20, 30, 40 years, and they ask for the biggest turkey we have ... I don't know how they do it. I know I wouldn't want to try.

How did you get started in the turkey business some 25 years ago?

I started working in high school, as a seasonal worker. Then I worked here. I ended up marrying the owner's daughter. Now I'm kind of stuck with it.

Will you get a break on Thanksgiving Day, and if so, will you be eating turkey?

Yes, I will be eating a Maple Lawn turkey. We have family friends who come and fix us a dinner ... I love turkey.

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