Diestel Turkey Ranch

Farm/Brand HeadquartersSonora, CA
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1175

Diestel’s organic turkey is rated at GAP Step 3. They have other (non-organic) products that meet a higher standard for outdoor access that meets the criteria for Gap Step 5 (though this represents a fraction of their production), but without the benefits of organic certification. This brand also produces a majority of conventional “natural” products in addition to their organic line.

They say about their brand: “Diestel Family Ranch was founded on health, happiness and the pursuit of flavor. Now in its fourth generation, we’ve done everything but compromise our values to thoughtfully raise and carefully craft premium, artisan-inspired turkey products worthy of America’s unyielding appetite for better, deliciously lean and clean protein. We were one of the first producers to offer certified Organic products and while we know it takes a little extra effort – it’s worth it to us to produce the best damn turkey you’ve ever tasted and a meal you can feel good sitting down to. Take a bite and you’ll see—it’s worth it to you, too! Also, click  HERE to watch our 3-min video, learn more about our farming philosophy and meet the whole Diestel Family.”

TOTAL (possible score is 1800) 1175
4-Bird Rating | Excellent
Family Farms and cooperatives receive the most points. Corporations and companies with poor or negligible farm oversight receive the fewest points.
Ownership structure
80Supplied by farms with close relationship
100% organic brands receive the most points. Split operations receive fewer with increased penalties for poor segregation at the processor and farm level.
Dedication to Organic Production
30Diestel produces both organic and non-organic products. with the majority being conventional
Farms that participated in Cornucopia’s research providing full transparency receive the most points.
Transparency and Disclosure
100Full participation
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certifier
75Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO)
To receive full points, flocks must number 500 birds or fewer (200 for turkeys).
Flock size
30Flock sizes are large
No more than 1.5 lbs of bird per square foot is required for full points.
Stocking Density
90Good stocking density, generally generally allowing no more than 3.07lbs per square foot.
Mobile housing receives the highest number of points.
Housing Style
50Fixed barns with legitimate outdoor access; GAP step 3 allows static barns
Heritage varieties receive the highest number of points.
Strain and/or Breed and Slaughter Age
85Brand-specific breeds, slower growing; some higher welfare strains of turkey are raised by Diestel
Birds must spend 3/4ths or more of their lives outdoors for full points.
Timing for Outdoor Access
75Birds spend a minimum of half their lives outdoors; GAP step 3 requires legitimate outdoor access in turkeys (seasonally)
Enrichments include but are not limited to shade structures, water, novel feedstuff (greens, mealworms, sprouted grains), and dust baths.
Enrichments (outdoor and indoor)
80Enrichment provided indoors and outdoors, with requirements for vegetative cover (over 25%)
Points awarded for labels that go above and beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
40Diestel's Certified Organic Turkeys are GAP Rated Step 3 (they have a pasture raised but not organic option that is GAP step 5), Non-GMO Project Verified
Maximum points given for high quality, rotated pasture. Non-rotated pasture adjacent to fixed housing with lower than 90% vegetative cover receives fewer points.
Outdoor Management
60Legitimate outdoor access, rotated outdoor space
100 points for on-farm production and/or milling of feed. Fewest points given to feed that cannot be verified as domestic and/or birds get poor or no supplementation from outdoor foraging.
Feed Sourcing
40Attempts to source domestic feed; feed is milled at brand's own feedmill on the farm(s)
Methionine needs met by outdoor foraging receives 100 points. Synthetic supplementation receives 70 points.
Synthetic Methionine
70Supplements up to the maximum allowed by organic regulations
Under 5% cull and death rate required for full points.
Cull/death Rate
90Low cull and death rate
Chicks and poults that are certified organic since hatching, or are hatched on-farm receive 100 points. Off-farm or conventional chicks and poults receive 70 points.
Chick and Poult Sourcing
70Sourced from hatchery; poults are raised under brand management on organic farms
No physical alterations required for full points. Permitting beak tipping results in fewer points.
Physical Alterations
20Beak trimming is allowed
Measures farm oversight. Farmer owned brands, or daily visits by management required for maximum points.
Farm Support
90Company team members are on the farms continuously
Non-scoring, category provided for information only.
Slaughter Method (non-scoring)
Electrified stunning bath
Non-scoring, category provided for information only.
Soy Free Ration? (non-scoring)
No, soy is included in feed
Maximum transparency, sharing of the organic systems plan, and/or novel practices that sets the brand apart from the rest of the industry can result in extra credit points.
Extra Credit