The Diestel Difference: Doing Turkey the Right Way for 70 Years

November 12th, 2019 • by Sandy Zimmerman



Fourth Generation Family Ranch Provides a Modern Take on Turkey with Progressive Farming Practices.

Sonora, CA – The Diestel Family Ranch has been raising the leanest, cleanest, most delicious turkeys since 1949 and is today one of the few small, family-owned and operated ranches left in the nation. Run by a team of passionate and forward-thinking, fourth-generation turkey farmers, the team’s innovative and sustainable farming practices are paving the way for future generations, while keeping to high standards that have remained unchanged since the ranch’s founding. The Diestel family has a relentless passion for doing things the right way, without compromise, and the result is the best damn turkey money can buy. Giving the other bird, the bird (figuratively speaking), Diestel’s chef-recognized, artisan turkey products have set the benchmark in the marketplace and are giving a contemporary edge to this classic lean protein.

When Grandpa Jack officially founded the Diestel Family Ranch, he and his Uncle Ernest knew that grit, passion and patience were what it took to raise the finest quality turkeys. They valued time as an essential ingredient at the ranch, reading the seasons, understanding the rhythms of nature, and allowing the birds time and space to mature and roam naturally. Jack’s son, Tim, and his wife Joan brought these values forward and modernized the family business by producing the first turkeys to become certified organic, the first to become Non-GMO Project Verified, and one of the first to achieve GAP 5, the highest animal welfare rating in the industry.

Today, the ranch is led by dynamic daughter Heidi, science-driven son Jason, and adventure-loving son-in-law Jared. A powerhouse blend of youthful energy, new ideas, and time-tested tradition, this fourth-generation trio adopted their parents’ insatiable hunger for always doing better and are driven to go above and beyond what’s expected. With a focus on careful farming practices and quality craftsmanship, they continue to define the Diestel Difference. From the farm and their family to the food and our future, the gist is, if there’s a right choice, they’ll make it. No compromises; no question. 

FARM: From walking the flock daily and paying close attention to the turkey’s health (removing the need for antibiotics), to lining their barns with fresh pine wood shavings and using 100% organically approved probiotic and natural cleaners, Diestel is committed to thoughtfully raising healthy and wholesome birds. Unlike most producers in the industry that use only one standard breed to fill a 10-40+ pound weight range, Diestel uses many different breeds of turkeys and allows each to fully mature at their naturally intended weight and exhibit natural behavior. Slow grown with plenty of fresh air and space to roam, whether indoors or outdoors, Diestel turkeys are raised with double the space as conventional birds. In addition, they’re given a slow-growth formula of corn and soy fortified with vitamins and minerals that results in the birds taking 25%-45% more time to reach their ideal weight than conventionally grown birds. The freshly ground, 100% vegetarian, free-choice mash (no pelletized feed or dried distiller grains!) is produced at the family’s own grain mill on the farm. Operating under the strictest animal welfare, quality and safety standards, Diestel’s farms are certified by the Global Animal Partnership, Non-GMO Project Verified, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, and Where Food Comes From certified. In addition, their plants are certified by the USDA and the Non-GMO Project. These organizations conduct regular audits to validate the farming practices of the Diestel ranches and its partners.

FAMILY: Over the past 70 years, the Diestel family has grown a lot—and not just by blood. Each of its customers, partners, team members and the community has helped to make the company what it is today and are treated like an extension of the family, with kindness and respect. Diestel’s employees receive competitive pay and terrific benefits. When it comes to the community, each year Diestel donates over 100,000 pounds of turkey to their local food bank, partners with Meals on Wheels to provide meal home delivery to isolated seniors living in Tuolumne County, and donates Diestel compost to schools that employ on-site gardens. Diestel birds have always, and will always, give back.

It’s not enough to protect the earth; Diestel is on a mission to restore it. Committed to the environment and conserving biological resources, Diestel practices regenerative agriculture on its farms. They invest in their own composting (that’s good s%*t!…literally) and water treatment facilities on the ranch to reduce waste stream, conserve ground water, and reuse valuable resources. They’ve also completely eliminated toxic chemicals, fertilizers and inorganic substances on their farms, including chlorine and ammonium-based sanitizer, and use effective cleaners certified by the Green Clean Institute and oxygenated water at their production facilities to ensure food safety. Constantly pursuing new and innovative farming practices, Diestel is shrinking the boot that makes their environmental footprint and paving the way for future generations. They’re not just rolling up their sleeves to make a difference. They’re tearing them off!

The Diestel Family Ranch produces premium-quality, natural and organic, year-round and holiday products that are sold at select retailers nationwide and online at New product launches include a lineup of fresh ground turkey, turkey franks and turkey bacon, a holiday cook-in-bag turkey breast, and beef and pork deli slices. For more information visit or contact 888-4-Gobble / Also find @diestelturkey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.




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