Harvest Heritage: Roth Turkey Farm


FORREST, Ill. (WCIA) – Whether you bought your Thanksgiving turkey at Walmart or enjoy a turkey sandwich at Subway, the turkey may have been raised at the Roth Turkey Farm at Forrest in Livingston County. 

Ken Roth was raised on a poultry farm, and that’s always been part of his life.

“The big part of this whole farm operation for us, when we started, it was 1988, it would have been 33 years ago. We had a young family. We had three boys to start with and we taught those boys, especially how to work,” Roth said. “And that is something that’s really important; now they are all off the farm. I do have a grandson that is very interested and he is helping me and hoping to take it over, but I taught him how to work and I think that is what we need on the farm is to teach our children what physical labor is.”

Turkeys are what Roth raises on his farm nowadays, but he grew up raising a different kind of poultry.

“I grew up raising pullets for laying hens, young chickens for laying hens, and that’s what I learned,” Roth said. “I learned how to do manual labor and work and enjoy watching the animals grow.”

Roth passed what he learned from his dad along to his sons and more recently to his 18-year-old grandson Ty Wellborn.

“I enjoy working on the farm and all the different situations and experiences you get from this type of work,” Wellborn said. “Some of the changes I would make to the operation, I would say would be just to make the farm more available to others and expand upon the name and brand my Grandpa has built here.”

Roth said his grandson is already helping him bring innovation and improvement to the farm

“He already helps me in that,” Roth said. “‘Grandpa, can’t we do it this way?’”

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