Mark Miloski Jr. first started working on his family’s farm at 5 years old, gathering eggs from the coop.
Today, the 33-year-old is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Miloski’s Poultry Farm in Calverton (4418 Middle Country Road) by gearing up to slaughter about 3,000 turkeys for Thanksgiving season.
“We don’t take a day off for a month,” Miloski said. “It’s really not too bad. When we kill chickens I can do it at my own pace, but the turkeys I have to do in like five days, for 14-hours a day. I sleep for an hour or two and just get it done.”
Miloski and his father, Mark Miloski Sr., are carrying on the legacy started by his grandfather, Will Miloski, who died in 2012 at 88 years old. The free-range turkey farm has changed little in 75 years, as Miloski — or any local — can attest.
The small, no-frills shop, lined with wood paneling, some freezers and a counter, still looks the same as when Miloski was a child. “Jeez, it’s the same since I started, really,” he said. “We don’t change much. That’s why we’ve lasted so long, probably.”
Business remains strong — better than ever, according to Miloski. During the stressful days of 2020, when many businesses were struggling due to the pandemic, Miloski said the farm was doing particularly well, staying open the entire time.
One of the reasons Miloski’s continues to flourish, he believes, is that people are more conscious about tracing their food. “I think being able to see where your food comes from is helpful,” Miloski said. “You can see the turkeys walking around.”
Though he went to college and studied business, Miloski knew he’d end up back at the farm. “The farm is all I’ve ever known,” he said. “I’ve never had another job, I never did a resume or anything.” Growing up on the farm, he loved working with his grandfather. “Everybody knew grandpa,” he said with a smile. “He’s been gone almost 10 years now. Working with grandpa, my uncles, the family…It’s nice. We all get along. I have a house on the farm so I can walk to work.”
Miloski noted that there are still some customers who have been coming in from the start, reminiscing about Will. “It’s good to keep grandpa’s legacy alive,” he said.
The farm will start slaughtering about 500 turkeys a day mid-month, package, ship and sell them. The demand is so high that Miloski’s doesn’t take pre-orders, instead selling on a first-come, first-serve basis.
On Thanksgiving, Miloski plans to sleep in. “It’s the first day off in a long time,” he said.