Notable Names: Turkey ranch in the Sonoran area receives national honor


Good household Magazine recognized Diestel family ranch for raising turkeys near Sonora.

The company received the Sustainable Innovation Award 2021 in the Smarter, Healthier Food and Kitchen category.

Part of the honor was given to grazing whole turkeys. They peck for grass and other goodies outdoors, along with the corn and soy that make up conventional poultry feed.

The magazine also referred to Diestel’s environmental measures: it composts manure and feathers that are used by other landowners to fertilize the soil. It recycles about 90% of the water on the Home Ranch.

Workers wash barns with probiotic-fortified water instead of chemicals “to create a healthy microbial environment,” a press release said.

“We believe that it is not enough to protect the earth, we have to restore it”, fourth generation farmer Heidi Diestel called.

Jack Diestel founded the company in 1949 on Lyons-Bald Mountain Road, about eight kilometers northeast of Sonora. It now has several other ranches in western Tuolumne County and a plant near the Chinese Camp.

The business is much smaller than Care farms, which dominates the west coast market for turlock processed turkeys. Diestel has created a niche for itself with higher priced products, including organic birds and “heirloom” breeds from the past.

The turkeys have varying degrees of access to nature and take longer to reach the industry norm.

Diestel sells whole turkeys online and in select grocery stores, along with charcuterie, sausage, and other products. Thanksgiving meal planners may notice the $ 4.95 13.5-ounce container of organic turkey sauce. More information is available at

Good Housekeeping is presenting the winners in its November print edition and is already posting them online at The magazine is probably better known for its seal of approval, which has been given to products that impress their testers since 1909.

Music money finds new uses

Four music programs get after that Turlock Concert Association dissolved.

Last year’s COVID-19 restrictions ended TCA in its 80th season. It has offered live shows and free music lessons in local schools since 1940.

Subscribers had a choice of partial seasonal refunds or left their money on TCA to pass it on to other music programs. The association announced on October 23 that the remaining funds would remain in the city for use by the city Carnegie Arts Center, Door lock and Pitman High schools and California State University, Stanislaus.

The exact amount for each was not available.

“TCA is so grateful to all subscribers, donors, and others for helping the Turlock Concert Association in its 80-year history bring live music to the Turlock community,” said a press release.

Names of Note recognizes individuals and organizations for their contribution to their communities. Submit articles to [email protected]

This story was originally published October 30, 2021 4:00 a.m.

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John Holland covers news in the fields of agriculture, transportation and general duties. He has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000 and previously worked for newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a degree in Journalism from UC Berkeley.


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