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

Turkey To Go: A State Fair Staple Since 1958!

For immediate release


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)

Turkey Drumstick Goes “Buffalo”; Concession Stand Gets Facelift

(Buffalo, MN) … Now it its 52nd year, Turkey To Go concession will serve up the tastiest turkey at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), which owns the concession, also announces a new look to the concession stand and a new flavor option for its slow-roasted turkey drumstick.

The concession has received some major improvements, according to MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “New siding, a new roof and new signage will definitely spruce up the outside of the building. Inside, several improvements are being made to ensure that our building is in top-notch shape and our customers continue to enjoy the Turkey To Go experience.”

Fairgoers will certainly notice the new rooftop sign, which will be illuminated by environmentally-friendly LED lighting, courtesy of Once Innovations, an Allied Member of MTGA based in Plymouth, MN. Many turkey farmers use this same LED lighting in their turkey barns.

Of course, what really counts at the State Fair is the turkey! Turkey To Go will continue to serve its popular Giant Juicy Turkey sandwich and Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumstick, according to Drew Levin of Turkey To Go. “Customers will be able to order our roasted drumstick with a sweet glaze, naked (original), or our new buffalo sauce that kicks it up a notch.”

The sandwich will sell for $6, while the drumstick is priced at $7. Also on the menu is our refreshing lemonade with fresh raspberries and lime.

For the third straight year, a portion of every sale at Turkey To Go will be donated to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (, an organization that is dedicated to ending hunger. “Minnesota’s turkey producers are proud to share the success they have had over the past 51 years at the State Fair with Minnesotans who may be struggling to put food on their tables this year,” said Olson.

About Turkey To Go

Turkey To Go concession is located at 1256 Clough Avenue, next door to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand.

Fans can find Turkey To Go on Facebook –

Turkey To Go also opened up a mobile food cart in August in downtown Minneapolis. The food stand serves the same menu and can be found most days at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. A second location option at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue is utilized during Minnesota Twins’ home games. For up-to-date location information, follow Turkey To Go on Twitter:

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

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Minnesota’s Farmers Offer “Free Groceries for a Year!”

For immediate release

Minneapolis, MN. (Aug. 9, 2010) – Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch has never met Minnesota’s farmers. In fact, they are offering the chance for all Minnesota residents to win a free breakfast, lunch and dinner by way of free groceries– for an entire year.

Beginning today, Minnesota residents can register for two grand prizes of “Free Groceries for a Year!”* courtesy of Minnesota’s farmers, at Upon visiting the site, consumers register 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 beef, chicken, corn, dairy, egg, hog, soybean, and turkey 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.

Featured farmers 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

“As Minnesota farmers, we’re thrilled to offer free groceries for a year to the consumers of our great state,” said Shannon Kuball, a dairy farmer from Waterville, Minnesota, who is a featured farmer on “This is an opportunity for us 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.”

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 and Twitter.

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, and Gold n’ Plump.

*Based on Food Marketing Institute figures, a $5,000 value.

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Mark Crouser
(816) 556-3134

The Center for Food Integrity is a not-for-profit corporation established to build consumer trust and confidence in the contemporary U.S. food system. Our members, who represent every segment of the food system, are committed to providing accurate information and addressing important issues among all food system stakeholders. The Center does not lobby or advocate for individual food companies or brands. For more information, visit

Turkey To Go Goes Mobile – To Streets of Minneapolis

For Immediate Release


Lara Durben, MTGA | 763/682-2171 |

Drew Levin, Turkey To Go | 352/246-8321 |

(July 29, 2010) … Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), owner of the Turkey To Go Concession at the Minnesota State Fair, is pleased to announce the opening of a Turkey To Go mobile food trailer on the streets of Minneapolis.

Best known for its “Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich,” the Turkey To Go mobile food trailer will be operating the first week in August, according to Steve Olson, MTGA Executive Director. “Our target opening date is August 3. This is a new venture for Turkey To Go, and we’re excited to be dishing up our tasty turkey along with the addition of some new sweet treats.”

Customers can satisfy their craving for our turkey sandwich at one of two downtown Minneapolis locations:

  • Corner of South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall
  • Corner of South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue

The mobile trailer will typically be at the 8th and Nicollet location during the lunch rush and move to South 6th Street and Hennepin in the evening.

Turkey To Go’s mobile locations will be listed on and also available on Twitter – simply follow @TurkeyToGo to find out exactly when and where the mobile food unit will be.

The mobile Turkey To Go will be offering the same Minnesota grown items as served at the State Fair, including the Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich, Marinated Turkey Drumsticks (available in various flavors) and lemonade with fresh raspberries and lime. In addition to these signature items, the mobile trailer will be offering build-your-own ice cream sandwiches.

“The ice cream and cookies are made from scratch locally and are a delicious addition to our menu options,” said Drew Levin of Turkey To Go.

The mobile food trailer was made possible after the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance in April allowing the operation of licensed food carts.

About Turkey To Go

Turkey To Go Concession has been serving up turkey since 1959 at the Minnesota State Fair. The State Fair location is at 1256 Clough Avenue, next door to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand. Turkey To Go is owned by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA).

MTGA is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1939 to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. Minnesota 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 on Minnesota’s turkey industry, visit

MTGA Announces 2010 Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
June 15, 2010
Contact: Lara Durben,

(Buffalo, MN) … One recipient has spent 37 years in the agricultural lending industry while the other is known quite simply as “a legend” in the turkey industry. Both are well-deserving of an award they received from the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) last week in Duluth, MN.

Dr. G. Yan Ghazikhanian, Aviagen Turkeys, and Roger Refling, United FCS in Willmar, MN, were each honored with the 2010 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s 2010 Summer Meeting.

Photo cutlines: Dr. James Trites, Elanco Animal Health, and Dr. G. Yan Ghazikhanian, Aviagen Turkeys; and Roger Refling, United FCS, and Gregg Veldman, Novus International

The award is based on several criteria:

  • Long-term service to the industry (20+ years).
  • Long-term support of the MTGA.
  • Well-respected by peers and customers.
  • Commitment to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry.

MTGA Allied Committee Chairman Gregg Veldman, Novus International, and Dr. James Trites, Elanco Animal Health, made the awards presentation.

Dr. Yan Ghazikhanian

“Dr. Yan Ghazikhanian is a leading figure in developing and implementing some very important disease eradication and poultry health programs and is quite simply considered a “legend” in his field and in the turkey industry,” said Trites.

Dr. Ghazikhanian, who is known throughout the world as “Dr. Yan,” has served Nicholas Turkeys (now Aviagen Turkeys) and the global turkey industry for over 30 years. In 1963 Dr. Yan received his D.V.M. from the University of Tehran in Iran. He then came to the United States where he earned his Masters and Ph.D. in microbiology and pathology at the University of California at Davis. While a graduate student, Dr. Yan conducted extensive research on Mycoplasma meleagridis and Mycoplasma synoviae.

After achieving his Ph.D., Dr. Yan started his career with USDA/APHIS as head of the Diagnostic Mobile Laboratory in the Exotic Newcastle Task Force. His work in that field earned him two certificates of achievement from USDA/APHIS and the California Department of Agriculture.

In 1974 Dr. Yan joined Nicholas as a staff veterinarian and was appointed director of veterinary medicine in 1983. During his career Dr. Yan has traveled widely in customer service and is well known and appreciated for his abilities as a practical field diagnostician. He has spent many days in turkey barns around the world, working with customers to diagnose, treat and prevent health problems.

Dr. Yan also conducted research and diagnostic work for Nicholas. He was particularly instrumental in the successful program to eliminate Mycoplasma meleagridis (or “MM”) from all Nicholas breeding stock and assisted customers in the implementation of MM programs at the parent stock level. Dr. Yan also eradicated Mycoplasma iowae from Nicholas breeding stock in the early 1990’s.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Dr. Yan eradicated Salmonella arizonae from Nicholas breeding stock and led the way in developing salmonella eradication strategies at primary and multiplier breeding levels throughout the turkey industry.

Dr. Yan has served as president of the American Association of Avian Pathologists, was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the General Conference Committee of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and he served on the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association Research Advisory Committee.

At the University of California at Davis, Dr. Yan was made Honorary Clinical Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in the veterinary school. In 2002 the California Poultry Federation bestowed on Dr. Yan its highest honor, The Golden Rooster award and in 2008 the American Association of Avian Pathologists granted Dr. Yan a lifetime membership.

Dr. Yan is still very active in the poultry industry, working with Aviagen and its customers on a part time basis. He and his wife Cheryl continue to reside in Sonoma, California and they have a daughter, a son and three grandchildren.

Roger Refling, United FCS

“Roger Refling is well known within the agricultural banking industry in Minnesota, having worked in a variety of capacities for Farm Credit Services for 37 years, and he has been a long-time member and supporter of both MTGA and the National Turkey Federation,” said Veldman.

Mr. Refling graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Administration. He served in the Air Force for three years, and then started his employment career working for the Federal Housing Administration for one year before starting with Farm Credit Services.

Since 1973 Roger has worked for the Farm Credit System in a number of relationship management and administration positions. Including:

o 8 years as Branch Manager in Canby MN

o 4 years as the Vice President of Branch Operations for the Madison PCA Office

o 9 years as Special Accounts Officer for the Madison Branch of Farm Credit Services of MN Valley

o 11 years as Business Development Officer, 3 years as Sr. Credit Officer and 9 years as Vice President of Commercial Finance for Farm Credit Services of MN Valley in Willmar

o And his current position, which he has held since 2007, Vice President of AgriBusiness for United FCS in Willmar

Throughout his 37 year career with FCS, Roger has had a passion for agriculture and the customers he has served. He has been the company’s poultry expert for a number of years on staff and we are told he thoroughly enjoys working with the customers he has built relationships with.  Roger and his wife Joan have three grown children.

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 expected to raise approximately 45 million turkeys in 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit