View all new releases by Minnesota Turkey below. If you need other information or materials, contact Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director, at 763/682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com.

Badger, Minn. Turkey Farmer Honored with MTGA President’s Award

 

 

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben(763) 682-2171orlara@minnesotaturkey.com

Photo – John Burkel

(Buffalo, MN )… The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored John Burkel, a turkey farmer from Badger, Minn., for showing true dedication and commitment to the goals of the association.

“John has gone above and beyond the call of duty, not only for 2010 but for the past several years,” said 2010-11 MTGA President Kent Meschke of Little Falls, Minn. “This past year he represented U.S. turkey farmers at meetings with the head administrator of EPA, Lisa Jackson, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. He also presented the poultry farmer’s perspective on the impact of ethanol policy in Kansas City in November.”

Burkel currently represents Minnesota’s turkey farmers and processors on the National Turkey Federation’s (NTF) Executive Committee and he chairs the NTF Live Production and TURPAC committees. Earlier this year he moved into a leadership role as the NTF Secretary-Treasurer.

“To recognize his passion for public policy and thank him for representing Minnesota’s turkey farmers and processors, I am presenting John with this year’s President’s Award,” said Meschke.

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’ s annual meeting in St. Paul, Minn. on March 16.

For more information on the MTGA or its President’s Award program, please contact the MTGA at (763) 682-2171 or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and currently headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 45 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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Outgoing MTGA Board Directors Honored for Service

 

 

 

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben – (763) 682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Photo – Kim Gorans

Photo – Gregg Veldman

 

(Buffalo, MN)…Kim Gorans of Willmar, Minn., and Gregg Veldman of Becker, Minn., were honored by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) for their many years of service to the organization’s Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on March 16 in St. Paul, Minn.

“On behalf of MTGA, I thank Rahn and Gregg for their dedication and leadership to our organization,” said 2010-11 President Kent Meschke, Meschke Poultry, Little Falls, Minn. “Both have made significant contributions to our organization and Minnesota’s turkey industry.”

Gorans is 2nd generation turkey farmer and co-owner of Gorans Brothers, a family turkey farm located south of Willmar. Gorans Brothers presently consists of 14 family members plus additional employees. They raise 45 million pounds of heavy toms, operate a feed mill, and crop farm.

Gorans has been a member of the MTGA Board since 1999, served as President and two years as Past President. He has served asa member of the Research Funding Committee; Turkey To Go committee; co-chair of the Avian Pneumovirus Taskforce; and initiated the “Where the City meets the Farm” research project which became Minnesota’s first Discovery Farm.Kim also has received the President’s Award twice.

Veldman of Novus International has been an Allied Director on the Board since 2004. He is the current Chairman of the MTGA Allied Committee.

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 45 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

 

 

 

 

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben, (763) 682-2171 orlara@minnesotaturkey.com

Directors Hail from Redwood Falls, Roseau, Little Falls, Willmar and Cokato

(Buffalo, MN)…Five people have been elected to the 16-member Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) Board of Directors according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the agency responsible for conducting and certifying agricultural promotion council elections. The election was conducted by mail-in ballot in January.

The newly elected directors are:

Region 1

Kent Meschke, Little Falls

Region 2

Phil Munson, Cokato

At Large

Duane Jaenicke, Roseau

Gene Brownfield, Redwood Falls

Robert Orsten, Willmar

Phil Munson is the lone newcomer on the Board; the other elected members are incumbents. The newly elected board members will serve three-year terms and all assumed their seats on March 1.These directors will also serve on the Board of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA).

The board meets about eight times per year to guide MTRPC’s activities. Board members also serve as advocates for Minnesota’s turkey industry. Turkey producers pay a percentage of their sale proceeds to MTRPC, which uses those funds to pay for promotion, communication and research activities aimed at increasing producer profitability.

Elected directors are listed alphabetically below, along with biographical information:

Gene Brownfield, Redwood Falls

Gene Brownfield has been in the turkey industry for 49 years and currently raises 215,000 toms and 636,000 hens on farms located in Brown and Renville counties. His son runs the family’s crops operation, which includes corn, soybeans, peas and sugar beets.

Gene currently serves as a director for Prairie Fire Ministries, a director for Redwood Area Christian Radio, and treasurer for Cornerstone Mens Ministry.He and his wife Janette have two children, Dean, who farms with Gene, and Jayne, who lives in Bloomington. They also have two grandsons.Gene’s hobbies include fishing on Mille Lacs Lake and being very active in church activities, especially mens’ programming.

This is Gene’s 2nd term on the Board.

Duane Jaenicke, Roseau

Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The operation raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative.

The turkey business runs in the Jaenicke family – When he was growing up, Duane remembers the small flocks of turkeys his father raised, and today, Duane’s brother also raises turkeys. Duane began his P & J Farms venture in 1992.

For many years, Duane taught management education courses at Northland Community and Technical College and was named the 2001 Outstanding Ag Educator by the State Association of Management and Ag Eductors in Minnesota. He retired from teaching in June 2005. Duane is active in his local church, has served on the church board, and currently is in charge of the cemetery. He and his wife, Bev, have three sons. In his spare time, Duane enjoys fishing and camping.

This is Duane’s 3rd term on the Board and he currently serves as Vice President of the Board.

Kent Meschke, Little Falls

Kent Meschke, Little Falls, owns and operates Meschke Poultry, which produces around 700,000 light hens per year that are marketed through Northern Pride Cooperative. The operation consists of brood and grow out facilities and a feed manufacturing facility in Little Falls.

Kent completed a degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and after college, worked for several years in finance. He returned to the farm in 1985 to work with his father (Garth) and brother (Scott). With the injury of his brother and the retirement of his father, he became the sole proprietor of the business. He has experience in all areas of turkey production, from brooding to nutrition.

Kent is serving his 3rd term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board and currently serves as Past President.

One of Kent’s favorite hobbies is to go flying. He also enjoys hot rods, computers and photography. He is the current secretary/treasurer for the Little Falls Pilots Association, a local flying club. Kent and his wife, Lynn, have two daughters: Tanya and Katie.

Phil Munson, Cokato

Phil Munson is a third generation turkey grower from Cokato and has worked in the turkey industry his entire life.His grandfather Floyd started Munson Feed Company in 1935 and raised his first flock of (bronze) turkeys in 1959.

Phil graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1986 with a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Business Administration.He worked for West Central Turkeys, Earl B. Olson Farms and Peterson Turkey Hatchery before returning home.Today Phil and his father Beryl raise 7 million pounds of toms annually (at Howard Lake).This is Phil’s first term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

Phil’s wife Jodi teaches kindergarten and their two sons Aaron and Ben attend college.He enjoys spending time with his family and fishing in his spare time.

Robert Orsten, Willmar

Robert Orsten has worked 19 years in the turkey industry. With farms in Kandoyohi and Swift counties, his family raises 70,000 breeder turkeys and also grows corn, beans and hay.

Robert served as Board Secretary for two years of Community Christian School and is currently the Board President.He and his wife, Rochelle, have five children: Talia, Autumn, RJ, Brady and James.His hobbies include boating, camping, spending time with family and friends, raising Hereford cattle and his kids’ sporting events.

This is Rob’s 2nd term on the Board.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 45 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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MTGA Announces 2011-12 President, Executive Committee

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben, (763) 682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Officers Hail from Cannon Falls, Roseau, Northfield and Little Falls

Executive Committee Photo |  President Lindell Photo

(Buffalo, MN)… Jeff Lindell, Cannon Falls, Minn., has been elected President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for 2011-2012.

“I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that MTGA will face in the year to come,” said Lindell after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting in on March 16 in St. Paul, Minn.

Lindell was raised on a dairy farm near Vasa, MN.  He graduated from Cannon Falls High School in 1976 where he was active in FFA. He married Mary Roush in 1977 and have two daughters who are also married to farmers. Karrie and Dan Kuhn,  Nora and TJ Nordling all from Randolph. They have also been blessed with seven grandchildren.

The Lindells owned and operated a dairy herd in the early 1980s. Jeff began to work part time for Peterson Turkey Hatchery in 1983 in the turkey breeder operation. In 1986 he was asked to manage a new brood-growout barn being planned by the Petersons on a farm near Randolph/Stanton. He raises  about 50,000 heavy toms on this farm. Lindells also continue to grow corn and soybeans. In addition to the MTGA, Jeff is also a member of the Randolph FFA Alumni, and the Dakota County Farm Bureau.

In their free time Jeff and Mary enjoy spending time with their Grandchildren, and also spending time at their cabin near Birchwood WI.

Jeff is serving his 3rd term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board.

Lindell succeeds Kent Meschke, who will officially take over as Past President of the two organizations. Meschke owns and operates Meschke Poultry, which produces 700,000 light hens per year that are marketed through Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls. The operation consists of brood and grow out facilities and a feed manufacturing facility in Little Falls. He was just elected to his third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards.

The remaining two members of the MTGA / MTRPC Executive Committee areVice President Duane Jaenicke, P & J Turkeys, Roseau, Minn; and Treasurer John Zimmerman, P & J Products Co., Northfield, MN.

Vice President Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The operation raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls.

The turkey business runs in the Jaenicke family – When he was growing up, Duane remembers the small flocks of turkeys his father raised, and today, Duane’s brother also raises turkeys. Duane began his P & J Farms venture in 1992.

For many years, Duane taught management education courses at Northland Community and Technical College and was named the 2001 Outstanding Ag Educator by the State Association of Management and Ag Educators in Minnesota. He retired from teaching in June 2005.

Duane was elected to the MTGA-MTRPC Board in 2005, 2008 and again this year in 2011. Duane is active in his local church, has served on the church board, and currently is in charge of the cemetery. He and his wife, Bev, have three sons.

Treasurer John Zimmerman runs the family farm – P & J Products, Northfield, MN – along with his mother, Karen Zimmerman. He has been in the turkey industry all his life and P & J Products raise approximately 3 million pounds of turkey annually and also raise 500 acres of corn and soybeans.

John graduated from Iowa State University with a BS degree in animal science. He also is a graduate of the Minnesota Agricultural Rural Leadership Program (MARL). He is board secretary of the River County Co-op, financial secretary of Dennison Lutheran Church, and vice president of the MARL Alumni Association.John was elected to the MTGA-MTRPC Board in 2007 and again in 2010.He and his wife, Kara, live in Northfield.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 45 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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Photo cutline:From left, Vice President Kent Meschke, President Jeff Lindell and Treasurer John Zimmerman. Not pictured: Vice President Duane Jaenicke.

MTGA Congratulates Frederickson on Appointment

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben

Phone: 763/682-2171

Email: lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Congratulates Frederickson on Appointment

(Buffalo, MN) … Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) congratulates Dave Frederickson on being appointed by Governor-elect Mark Dayton to serve as the next commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

“Dave Frederickson brings a strong background in agriculture to the post of Commissioner of Agriculture,” said Kent Meschke, MTGA President and a turkey farmer from Little Falls, MN. “His experience, knowledge and enthusiasm of state, national and international agriculture, along with his family farm background, will allow him to hit the ground running. We look forward to working with him to maintain the strength and integrity of Minnesota’s agriculture industry and economy.”

MTGA, founded in 1939 and headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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Governor Pawlenty, Minnesota’s Turkey Farmers Honor Thanksgiving

Contact:

Lara Durben

763-682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

MTGA Donates 16,700 Pounds of Minnesota-Grown Turkey to Food Shelves

St. Paul, MN (November 20, 2010) – Governor Tim Pawlenty and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) continued a time-honored tradition today by talking turkey at the State Capitol.

At the event, MTGA President Kent Meschke, Little Falls, MN announced the donation of approximately 16,700 pounds of turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM) along with a financial contribution of $6,100, which will be used to buy additional Minnesota grown turkey products for distribution across the state.

“We know times remain challenging for many families this year and Minnesota’s turkey farmers want to do their part in combating hunger with this donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota,” said Meschke. “The product donation is enough turkey to feed nearly 21,000 people.”

In addition, MTGA – through its partnership with Turkey To Go mobile food cart in downtown Mineapolis – is pleased to announce that for every order of carved turkey from Turkey To Go prior to Thanksgiving, a donation of turkey will be made to a family in need through HSM. Details on ordering turkey from Turkey To Go can be found at www.turkeyguys.com.

HSM, a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota, will coordinate the distribution of the turkey. All processing costs for the turkey are being donated by Jennie-O Turkey Store, headquartered in Willmar, MN. Various other costs of raising the turkeys, such as feed, bedding, equipment and other inputs, were donated by several companies and organizations across Minnesota, the U.S. and Canada.

According to HSM, hunger and poverty are on the rise in Minnesota.  Currently, 1 in 5 families with children in our community has trouble putting food on the table.  This year, in the first six months alone, Twin City food shelves served 193,000 individuals. That equates to the sum populations of Edina, Woodbury and Bloomington.

Said Colleen Moriarty, HSM Executive Director: “We all should be concerned that over 10% of our population requires emergency food assistance.  This generous gift will help low-income families put food on the table this holiday season and throughout the New Year. We greatly appreciate the continued support of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.”

Since 2001, MTGA has donated 173,700 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state – or enough turkey to feed over 217,000 people. This year, the donation will provide a helping hand to families in communities such as Faribault, Melrose, Willmar, Thief River Falls, Frazee, Perham and Buffalo.

In addition to the donation announcement, MTGA brought along a turkey to meet the Governor. The bird came from a flock raised at the Turkey Research Unit in UMore Park in Rosemount, MN.

Meschke owns and operates Meschke Poultry, which produces 700,000 turkey hens per year that are marketed through Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls. The operation – started by Meschke’s father – consists of brood and grow-out facilities and a feed manufacturing facility in Little Falls. He and his wife, Lynn, have two daughters: Tanya and Katie.

Approximately 250 turkey family farmers raise about 46 million birds annually, which places Minnesota squarely at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.

“As a turkey farmer, I know a lot has changed in our industry since the early 1930s,” said Meschke. “We are able to raise more turkeys and feed more people, using less energy, inputs and resources than ever before. We are proud to say today that we offer consumers a wider variety of products that are safer; more convenient; and affordable because of advances in technology and improvements in our food production practices. Our turkeys eat better and live in safer environments, and I want to ensure consumers that for Minnesota’s turkey farmers, raising healthy turkeys and providing healthy, wholesome and safe food products to the world is the #1 priority.”

MTGA was founded in 1939. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. and is also home to three vibrant turkey processing companies – Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar, Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls, and Turkey Valley Farms in Marshall. These companies collectively have created over 2,000 turkey products for the consumer and foodservice markets that are shipped across the country and the world.

Each turkey raised in Minnesota brings nearly $12 in economic value to the state.

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and currently headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising an estimated 45 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. www.minnesotaturkey.com.

About Hunger Solutions Minnesota

Hunger Solutions Minnesota is a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota. We take action to assure food security for all Minnesotans by supporting over 300 agencies that provide food to those in need, advancing sound public policy, and guiding grassroots advocacy. HSM advocates for the maximum use of all federal public nutrition dollars available and works to improve low income Minnesotans’ access to all nutrition programs. The HSM Minnesota Food HelpLine (1-888-711-1151) helps enroll low-income Minnesotans in the Food Support (Food Stamps) program and helps callers find emergency food assistance in their area. For further information, visit www.hungersolutions.org/ or call 651-789-9843.

Minnesota Turkey Farmers Care About What You Care About

Press Release
Contact: Lara Durben, 763/682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN) – For Minnesota’s turkey farmers and their families, raising healthy turkeys is the #1 priority.

“For those of us who raise poultry, livestock and crops, farming is both our livelihood and our profession,” said Kent Meschke, a turkey farmer from Little Falls, MN and President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. “Because we live where we work, farming is also a way of life and we feel a deep responsibility to provide healthy, wholesome and safe food products for consumers.”

When purchasing a turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner table this year, consumers in Minnesota can be especially proud to know they are, in many cases, buying a Minnesota grown turkey, raised on one of 250 family turkey farms right here in our state, according to Meschke.

Consumers can rest assured, also, that turkey farmers do their utmost to ensure every turkey is raised with care.

  • The majority of turkeys in the U.S. are raised in barns that are environmentally-controlled and scientifically-designed to keep the birds comfortable and to protect them from predators, disease and inclement weather.
  • Turkeys are fed a balanced diet of corn, soybeans and essential vitamins and minerals at every stage of their life. Fresh water and feed are available at all times.
  • Turkey farmers do not feed their turkeys hormones or steroids. (In fact, all poultry in the U.S. is raised with no added hormones or steroids.)
  • Much like people, most turkeys are treated with antibiotics as needed when they aren’t feeling well. Turkey farmers consider it inhumane to not treat a sick animal. (Turkeys labeled antibiotic-free at the supermarket, are not treated with antibiotics.)

Turkey Farming is Efficient

“Turkey farmers feed more people using less resources than ever before,” said Meschke. “Turkeys today produce twice as much meat with half as much feed compared to the 1930s.”

Because of the world’s anticipated population growth, food demand is expected to increase 100% by 2050. Said Meschke: “ Turkey farmers will continue to develop and utilize efficiency-improving technology to ensure they will help feed the people on our planet.”

Turkey Farming is Sustainable

From utilizing turkey litter as the original “green” fertilizer for cropland to generating electricity at a plant in Benson, MN, Minnesota’s turkey industry takes pride in the sustainability of its farms.

For instance, did you know that turkey litter applied as fertilizer to cropland improves the quality of the soil and its ability to hold carbon? And increasingly, LED lighting is used in turkey barns as an important energy conservation measure, according to Meschke.

Eating Turkey is Safe

Minnesota’s turkey farmers and processing companies take very seriously their role in providing a safe, wholesome product to consumers.

“Every turkey processed is inspected by a USDA inspector to ensure the utmost quality product,” said Steve Olson, Executive Director of the MTGA. “Consumers also play an important role in making sure food stays safe to eat.  It’s truly a team effort between our family farmers, turkey companies and the consumers who enjoy our products.”

Here are some tips to remember:

  • Don’t cross contaminate – keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods. Use one cutting board and knife for raw meat and another for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Use a meat thermometer and be sure to cook your turkey product to 165 degrees F.
  • Refrigerate promptly: Follow the “two hour rule” – refrigerate perishable foods within two hours at a refrigerator temperature of 40 degrees F. or below.
  • You can place hot food directly in the refrigerator.

You can find more information about Minnesota’s turkey industry at www.minnesotaturkey.com/recipes-tips, which includes links to tips on purchasing, thawing and cooking your turkey as well as an informative brochure on food labels and what they mean.

You can also find Minnesota turkey on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey ) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/MinnesotaTurkey or @MinnesotaTurkey).

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and currently headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

Minnesota Turkey Utilizing Social Media to Talk Turkey

Press Release
Contact: Lara Durben, 763/682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN) – Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) are now talking turkey to the masses on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“As the nation’s #1 producing state for turkey, we’re thrilled to announce we have jumped on the social media bandwagon,” said Steve Olson, MTGA/MTRPC Executive Director. “We plan to communicate a variety of turkey facts, information, trivia and recipes, as well as engage all those turkey-loving consumers out there on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.”

Minnesota Turkey®’s YouTube channel includes videos of turkey farmers on their farms, describing their operations – with more video footage to come in 2011.

Facebook is a great place to share both consumer and industry information with a variety of people. “We try to post one or more items each day to keep Minnesota Turkey in the forefront of people’s Facebook ‘news feeds.’” said Olson.

Added Olson, “Twitter moves quickly and we’re still learning the ropes, but we’ve retweeted many interesting links and information, along with tweeting our own messages. We are also cultivating new followers every day.

“With so many people using these social media tools on a daily basis, we knew we wanted to have a presence and utilize all of these avenues for our communications and marketing efforts,” said Steve Olson, MTRPC Executive Director. “It’s exciting to see that our messages about the wholesome goodness of turkey will go worldwide with these tools. Our goal is to engage a variety of people on all things turkey.”

Find Minnesota Turkey® here:

www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey

www.twitter.com/MinnesotaTurkey (or search @MinnesotaTurkey)

www.youtube.com/user/MinnesotaTurkey

You can find more information about Minnesota’s turkey industry at www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and currently headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

9 Fun Facts – Turkey To Go and Minnesota Turkey

For immediate release

Contact:

Vanessa Tait, Group Leaf LLC Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

Ph: 651/308-8027 Ph: 763/682-2171 (office) or 612/554-0920 (cell)

vanessa@groupleaf.com lara@minnesotaturkey.com

1. The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 52 years (since 1958). Our State Fair concession stand, Turkey To Go, is known for its signature Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich and Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks.

2. We expect to cook over 3,000 turkeys at Turkey To Go this year.

3. Turkey To Go concession has its own Facebook page – www.facebook.com/turkeytogo.

4. Turkey To Go opened a mobile food cart in downtown Minneapolis on August 3, 2010. On most days, fans of Turkey To Go can find the mobile cart at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. During Minnesota Twins home games, the cart will be set up at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue. Up-to-date location information can be found at www.twitter.com/turkeytogo.

5. Turkeys raised in U.S. are free of added hormones and steroids. In fact, there are no hormones or steroids approved for use in turkey production in the U.S.

6. Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories and zero saturated fat.

7. Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 250 turkey farmers who raise approximately 45 million turkeys annually on 600 farms. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many our turkey producers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers.

8. Formed in 1939, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to fostering a successful turkey industry. Today the MTGA and its sister organization, the Minnesota Turkey Research Promotion Council, work on behalf of Minnesota’s turkey industry in the areas of research, promotion, public relations, issues management, education and government affairs.

9. The MTGA’s Web site – www.minnesotaturkey.com – features links to more than 1,700 turkey recipes for consumers and the foodservice industry. We also have recipes at our State Fair booth in the Dairy Building.

– 30 – 

MN Turkey Farmer Offers Free Groceries for a Year

For immediate release

Contact:

Vanessa Tait, Group Leaf LLC Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

Ph: 651/308-8027 Ph: 763/682-2171 (office) or 612/554-0920 (cell)

vanessa@groupleaf.com lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Visit www.FarmersFeedUs.org to sign up

(Buffalo, MN) … Kent Meschke, a turkey farmer from Little Falls, MN, is one of nine farmers offering all Minnesota residents a chance to win free groceries for an entire year*.

“As a Minnesota farmer, I’m thrilled to offer free groceries for a year to the consumers of our great state,” said Meschke. “This is an opportunity for Minnesota farmers to share what we produce with Minnesota consumers and to let them know we share their values – taking care of our families, taking care of our animals and land and giving back to our communities.”

Meschke is a third generation turkey farmer who raises 700,000 turkey hens annually that he markets through Northern Pride Cooperative, Thief River Falls, MN. The Meschke operation also includes a feed manufacturing facility.

For details on the sweepstakes, consumers can visit www.FarmersFeedUs.org and register for two grand prizes of free groceries by meeting a Minnesota farmer through a short video that shows how they produce safe, nutritious and affordable food.

Consumers can register with each of the nine featured farmers daily through Nov. 6, the end of the 90-day program.

The Farmers Feed US website features turkey, chicken, egg, beef, corn, dairy, hog, and soybean farmers from across the state, each sharing information about their farm and their family. In addition to guiding visitors through their registration for free groceries, each farmer also offers a brief online tour of their farm.

All featured farmers on www.FarmersFeedUs.org include:

  • Brian Asmus, egg farmer, Winthrop
  • Judy Bode, hog farmer, Courtland
  • Shannon Kuball, dairy farmer, Waterville
  • Kent Meschke, turkey farmer, Little Falls
  • Brian Schafer, cattle farmer, Goodhue
  • Greg Schwarz, corn farmer, Le Sueur
  • Charity Vold, dairy farmer, Glenwood
  • Matt Widboom, soybean farmer, Worthington
  • Bill Wuertz, chicken farmer, Paynesville

Over the course of the 90-day campaign, consumers throughout the state will also see and hear from these farmers as they are featured in television advertising and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mnfarmersfeedus) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mnfarmersfeedus).

The Farmers Feed Us sweepstakes will also be the featured attraction at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s booth at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. Attendees can visit the booth in the Horticulture Building, meet some of the featured farmers (schedule varies) and sign up for the sweepstakes.


Participating Minnesota agriculture groups include the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Pork Board, Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council, Broiler and Egg Association of Minnesota, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Farm & Food Coalition, Southeast Minnesota Ag Alliance, and Gold n’ Plump.

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About MTGA

MTGA is a nonprofit trade organization that began in 1939 with a mission to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. The state ranks #1 for turkey production and processing in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers expected to raise approximately 45 million turkeys this year. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey producers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.