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.

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MTGA and MTRPC Announce 2018-19 Officers

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Officers Hail from Morristown, Rothsay, New London, and Wood Lake

(Buffalo, MN)… The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) announce the following slates of officers for 2018-2019:

MINNESOTA TURKEY RESEARCH & PROMOTION COUNCIL

President – Kim Halvorson, Halvorson Turkeys, Morristown

Vice President – Chris Huisinga, Huisinga Turkey Farms LLC, Renville

Secretary-Treasurer – Max Velo, Evelo Inc., Rothsay

 MINNESOTA TURKEY GROWERS ASSOCIATION

President – Chris Huisinga, Huisinga Turkey Farms LLC, Renville

Vice President – Paul Kvistad, Kvistad Poultry, Wood Lake

Secretary-Treasurer – Wayne Knudsen, K&B Turkeys LLC, New London

Officers were officially announced at the annual meetings of the MTGA and MTRPC, held March 14 in Minneapolis, Minn.

MTRPC Officer Bios:

MTRPC President, Kim Halvorson of Morristown, MN, owns and operates Halvorson Farms. She has been a turkey farmer for 27 years and raises approximately 100,000 heavy toms/year (about 3.2 million pounds/year) annually in Rice County.

Kim is currently a member of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce; is a minority liaison with Farm Service Agency; is the current vice-chair of the Rice County District One Hospital Board of Directors. She also served on the Rice County Board of Adjustment from 2006-2011; the Rice County Planning and Zoning Commission from 2002-2011 (serving as past chairwoman); and is a founding member and past chairwoman the Rice County Childcare Association from 1995-2002.

Kim has conducted many media interviews about the turkey industry and was also featured on a DVD compiled by the Minnesota Farm and Food Coalition about livestock production in Minnesota. She has three daughters – Breann, Benita and Greta – and a son, Bernt.

MTRPC President Chris Huisinga owns and operates Huisinga Turkey Farms, LLC in Renville, MN. Prior to starting this venture in the past year, he was the General Sales Manager for Ag Forte. Ag Forte (the flagship brand for Willmar Poultry/Life-Science Innovations) is the largest supplier of day old turkey poults in the world annually selling 100 million turkeys globally.

 Prior to his current role, Chris was the General Manager for Ag Forte’s North Division consisting of over 300 employees across 2 hatcheries, 58 parent stock breeding farms, 2 grandparent breeding farms, a vaccine production division, and veterinary services. During his career he has held roles in operations, marketing, finance and business development for Life-Science Innovations and its affiliates and Wells Fargo Corporation in both Minnesota and Florida.

 Chris has a BA in Business from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) and a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (Florida). Chris and his wife Joi have two children, Ethan and Ella.

MTRPC Secretary-Treasurer Max Velo has been actively involved in the turkey industry for 13 years. With a farm in Ottertail County, he raises 400,000 hens per year.

Max and his wife Piper have four children Daryl, Kelsey, Alanna and Nita.

MTGA Officer Bios:

President Chris Huisinga owns and operates Huisinga Turkey Farms, LLC in Renville, MN. Prior to starting this venture in the past year, he was the General Sales Manager for Ag Forte. Ag Forte (the flagship brand for Willmar Poultry/Life-Science Innovations) is the largest supplier of day old turkey poults in the world annually selling 100 million turkeys globally.

Prior to his current role, Chris was the General Manager for Ag Forte’s North Division consisting of over 300 employees across 2 hatcheries, 58 parent stock breeding farms, 2 grandparent breeding farms, a vaccine production division, and veterinary services. During his career he has held roles in operations, marketing, finance and business development for Life-Science Innovations and its affiliates and Wells Fargo Corporation in both Minnesota and Florida.

Chris has a BA in Business from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) and a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (Florida). Chris, his wife Joi, have two children Ethan and Ella.

MTGA Vice President Paul Kvistad, a second-generation turkey farmer from Yellow Medicine County, owns and operates Paul Kvistad Poultry, which produces 200,000 light hens per year.

Currently, Paul is serving as the chairperson on the Education/Workforce Committee for MTGA and has been on the board of the Yellow Medicine County Corn Growers for 16 years. He served as a past member/president for the Echo Lions Club for 12 years and a past board member for the Farmers Co-op Elevator for 9 years. In addition, he continues to usher at Swan Lake Church.

Paul and his wife Jamie have three sons: Hunter, Payton and Brock.

MTGA Secretary-Treasurer Wayne Knudsen of K & B Turkeys, LLC, is a first-generation turkey grower and produces 120,000 toms/year in Redwood county.

Wayne has served as a board member for the Echo School District/YME District, the MN River Valley Education District & the Redwood County Fair. In addition, for 23 years he has been an active member in his church, the Echo Alliance Church, and served as an elder, board member & treasurer.

Wayne and his wife Kay, have been married 39 years and have four children and many grandchildren.

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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 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

About MTRPC

MTRPC is the oldest check-off based commodity organization in Minnesota, celebrating 50 years in 2015. Since 1965, the MTRPC has worked diligently to encourage consumers to eat more turkey year-round, sponsor innovative turkey research and educate a variety of audiences about the benefits of turkey. Programming at the MTRPC is funded by a voluntary grower checkoff program.

For further details on both organizations, visit , www.minnesotaturkey.com, find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey) and follow us on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey)

 

 

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2018 Ranelius Award Recipient: Dr. Carol Cardona

March 22, 2018 – For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone: (763) 682-2171

E-mail: ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) is proud to announce that Dr. Carol Cardona, Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health, University of Minnesota, is the 2018 recipient of its prestigious Ranelius Award. The announcement was made at the MTGA Annual Meeting on March 14 in Minneapolis, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the highest honor given by the MTGA,” said MTGA President Chris Huisinga, a turkey farmer from Renville, MN. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Dr. Cardona is well deserved of this special honor.”

As the Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health for the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Cardona is a world-renowned expert in avian influenza and also serves as co-director/co-principal investigator of the Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance at the University.

“Carol’s expertise and guidance during and after the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in Minnesota was crucial in helping the poultry industry move forward on both the farm level and from a business continuity standpoint,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “She also developed an important sampling tool used during and after the AI outbreak that continues to help the industry assess the health status of a flock before moving birds to market.”

Dr. Cardona’s ability to form partnerships between industry, academia, and government agencies extends far beyond avian influenza as well.

Through her role as Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health, Dr. Cardona encourages producer-focused research on timely topics such as gut health, respiratory health, and animal welfare. She was instrumental in creating and opening the Mid-Central Research and Outreach Center (MCROC) in Willmar, Minn., which quickly became a regional hub for research, education, and engagement for the poultry industry.

“It is a great honor to present the Ranelius Award to Dr. Cardona,” said Huisinga. “She embodies the principles of Dr. Ben Pomeroy, for whom her endowed chair is named, and we thank her for her dedication and passion to the turkey industry.”

The Ranelius Award is named for Sven Ranelius, a founding father of the MTGA, often described as a quiet, unselfish person who was very dedicated to the turkey industry in Minnesota. Nominees are evaluated on two central criteria: their contribution to the industry over a period of time; and the quality of that contribution.

To view a recap video of Dr. Cardona’s impact on Minnesota’s turkey industry, please view:

For more information on the MTGA or its Ranelius Award program, please contact Lara Durben at 763/682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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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 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit , www.minnesotaturkey.com, find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey) and follow us on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey)

Photo cutline: MTGA President Chris Huisinga presents the Ranelius Award to Dr. Carol Cardona, University of Minnesota.

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Minnesota’s Poultry Farmers Praise Significant Breakthrough Restoring CERCLA Exemptions

February 13, 2018

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben, Communications Director, ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com or 763-682-2171

 

Feb. 13, 2018 – BUFFALO MN – The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota (CEAM) praised a breakthrough bi-partisan bill introduced today by 13 senators – including Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) – to correct a pending federal court requirement that nearly a quarter of a million farmers must calculate and report the natural emission of ammonia from poultry and livestock manure.

This legislation is of major significance as it seeks to restore the CERCLA emergency notification reporting to its intended purpose.

The FARM Act, “The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act,” restores the on-farm exemption for reporting low-level livestock emissions. MTGA and CEAM noted that the 2017 Federal Appeals Court ruling had disrupted a nearly 10-year understanding that these are not the type of releases that Congress intended to be tracked under CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act).

With the bi-partisan level of cooperation, the bill demonstrates strong support from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to clarify Congress’ intent.

“On behalf of turkey and chicken farmers in Minnesota, we greatly appreciate Senator Klobuchar and Smith for their leadership on the FARM Act,” said Steve Olson, Executive Director of MTGA and CEAM. “This bill will ease the burden of Minnesota turkey and chicken farmers from having to report naturally-occurring low level air emissions with minimal environmental impact.”

In addition to co-sponsors Sens. Klobuchar and Smith, the bill was also introduced by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Senators have been quick to respond in the face of an upcoming May 1 federal court deadline that would trigger the massive reporting mandate on farmers, a mandate that might require compliance in as little as 24 hours after the final court order is issued.

MTGA and CEAM are hopeful a companion version of the FARM Act will be introduced soon for timely consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Minnesota Turkey Ushers in Thanksgiving with Donation to Hunger Solutions, Visit with Governor Dayton

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Contact:
Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director
763/682-2171, cell 612/554-0920 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

A Brother from the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock Makes an Appearance

St. Paul, MN (November 17, 2017) – Governor Mark Dayton continued the time-honored tradition – dating back to the 1940s – of kicking off the Thanksgiving holiday with the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) at the State Capitol today. Also in special attendance was a tom (male) turkey, raised as part of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock near Alexandria, MN.

“Thanksgiving is a day for all of us to share with our families and friends, and to give thanks for our blessings,”said Governor Mark Dayton. “This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Minnesotans to serve Minnesota-grown turkeys.”

At the event, MTRPC President Kim Halvorson announced the donation of approximately $11,000 to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will go toward the purchase of turkey products to be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.

“Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday for Minnesota’s turkey farmers – all about tradition. And today, I am grateful to be able to announce that the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is continuing our tradition of donating turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota,” said Halvorson.

“Many Minnesota families don’t have a warm home and big dinner to look forward to on Thanksgiving,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “There are more than 3 million visits to food shelves in Minnesota every year. Volunteering or making a donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota is a great way to help. I’m grateful to Hunger Solutions and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association for their hard work and generosity this season, and every time of year.”

Kim Halvorson and her son raise about 100,000 turkeys on their farm near Morristown each year. They also own and operate Bio Wood Processing, which recycles and reuses discarded wood product, and HF Applications, which brokers, sells and agrinomically applies nutrient-rich turkey litter (made up of bedding product combined with manure) to area farm fields.

Since 2001, MTGA has donated approximately 274,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state, which will feed 342,500 people in Minnesota. That’s enough turkey to feed Halvorson’s home county (Rice County) five times over.

These funds have been raised from contributions by Minnesota’s turkey farmers and MTGA allied members as well as a portion of the sales from MTGA’s Turkey To Go restaurant at the Minnesota State.

HSM, a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota, will coordinate the purchase and distribution of the turkey. One in five Minnesota families struggles

to put healthy meals on their tables.  The need for emergency food relief continues to be a problem in Minnesota even as our economy has improved.

MTGA/MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson also spoke about the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his Alternate, which were raised in Minnesota by Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg and will be traveling to the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony at the White House next week.

Said Olson: “Carl Wittenburg is the current Chairman of the National Turkey Federation and it’s his privilege to raise this special flock. 2017 marks the 13th time over the past 70 years that Minnesota has provided turkeys for the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony.”

This year, the Wittenburgs were delighted to have enthusiastic help from five young ladies of Douglas County 4-H. Minnesota 4-H is part of University of Minnesota. All five Douglas County 4-H members worked together on a Science of Agriculture Challenge project that evaluated several turkey bedding types for effectiveness and turkey comfort – all under the guidance of turkey farmers Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg. After they completed that project, they got to work helping to raise and train the National Thanksgiving Turkey flock, essentially getting them ready for the excitement of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony at the White House.

One of the Douglas County 4-H members – Katie Kent of Alexandria, had this to say about her experience: “This entire project – including our trip to Washington DC – will be a lifelong memory for all of us, and the skills we have learned along the way will benefit us in countless ways.

Approximately 450 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 46 million birds annually. Minnesota remains steadfast at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.
Current U.S. turkey production stands at 228 million this year – which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 20% of all U.S. turkeys. Approximately 95% of all Americans will eat turkey at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation.

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 successful 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 $17.46 in economic value to the state – which means Minnesota’s turkeys and the farmers who raise them generate over $800 million in economic activity for the state.

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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 an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2013. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further information, visit http://www.minnesotaturkey.com/www.minnesotaturkey.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey and Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey).

About Hunger Solutions Minnesota
Hunger Solutions Minnesota works to end hunger by advancing fair nutrition policy and guiding grassroots advocacy
on behalf of hungry Minnesotans and the diverse groups that serve them. We connect Minnesota’s food shelves and
hunger-relief organizations with the necessary funding, technical assistance and logistical support to reach thousands
of Minnesota individuals, families and children in need. Our work is made possible through the generous support
of donors across the country; each sharing our commitment to ensuring no Minnesotan will struggle with food
insecurity alone. For further information, visit www.hungersolutions.org/, on Twitter @hungersolutions or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HungerSolutionsMinnesota

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Minnesota Turkey Launches 3rd “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” Video

Video focuses on Where the Turkey Life Cycle Begins – On a Breeder Farm

(BUFFALO, MN) – Minnesota turkey grower Loren Brey of Brey Farms was recently featured in “A Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video. This video is part of a series of videos created and published by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) as an effort to promote and educate consumers about the turkey industry. These videos provide an insightful view into the life of a turkey farmer – the challenges and joys of raising turkeys in Minnesota.

Said Steve Olson, MTGA Executive Director: “Transparency is important to many consumers – they want to know where their food comes from, how it’s grown and how it’s processed. Tours of poultry farms are limited due to biosecurity practices that are implemented to protect flock health. To get around this obstacle, the MTGA has put out these videos on their website to provide the public the opportunity to look inside a turkey barn.”

Brey is one of the 450 turkey farmers in the state of Minnesota, and he was thrilled to be able to share his family’s turkey farm on the video. “This is my 30th year in the turkey business. I started picking eggs from the previous owner…and then eventually purchased the farm. It was an honor for me to share my family’s story and life on our farm in this video,” said Brey.

Minnesota ranks number one in turkey production in the United States, producing around 46 million turkeys per year. Turkey farms like Brey’s are where the turkey life cycle begins.

Even though all farms may look different from each other, all farmers pay close attention to bird health. In the video, Brey explains the different practices on his farm to maintain bird health – from biosecurity, barn temperature, ventilation, nutrition, and much more. Farmers go to great measures to ensure good health and well-being of their birds to produce a safe product for consumers.

“As you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal this year, be sure to remember that it may be a Minnesota turkey farmer that helped get the turkey to your table!” said Olson.

Brey’s video can be viewed on MinnesotaTurkey.com or YouTube.
Learn more about Minnesota turkey farm families at MinnesotaTurkey.com.

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 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2017. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

For further information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey and Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey).

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Turkeys from National Thanksgiving Flock to Visit Twin Cities Schools

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2017

Contacts:
Nicole Krumrie, 763-682-2171 or nkrumrie@minnesotaturkey.com
Lara Durben, 612-554-0920 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Twin Cities Students “Flock” to See Turkeys from the National Thanksgiving Flock

What: National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock Members Visit Twin Cities Students

When: November 14, 2018

Where:
• Kaposia Education Center
o 1225 1st Ave S, South St. Paul, MN 55075
o 9am-10am
o Presenting to five 4th grade classes (137 students)

• Cedar Riverside Community Schools
o 1610 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55454
o 12pm-1pm
o Presenting to 4th and 5th grade classes (34 students)

Details:
• The Minnesota Turkey Growers will be bringing a turkey from the National Thanksgiving Flock to two schools in the Twin Cities to teach students about the tradition of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony at the White House, help them learn more about Minnesota’s turkey farmers, and share with them what the Minnesota 4-H program is all about.
• Each year, two turkeys travel to Washington D.C. – one serves as the National Thanksgiving Turkey and the other as his Alternate. The turkey that will visit the schools is a brother to these two birds.
• The National Thanksgiving Turkey is part of a flock that is being raised in Alexandria, MN by the Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg. Carl is the current chairman of the National Turkey Federation and also a Minnesota Turkey Growers Association member.
• 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony.

Interview/Photo/Video Opportunities:
• Steve Olson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
• 4-H members from the Alexandria, Minn., area who are assisting with the training the birds
• Kaposia and Cedar Riverside students

More Information about the National Thanksgiving Flock:
www.minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey
Facebook  |  Instagram – @MinnesotaTurkey  | Snapchat – MinnesotaTurkey

RSVP your attendance to:
Nicole Krumrie, 763-682-2171 or nkrumrie@minnesotaturkey.com

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National Thanksgiving Turkey and Its Alternate Coming from Alexandria!

PRESS RELEASE

(Buffalo, MN) – November is always a busy month for Minnesota’s turkey farmers, which are ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. This year, however, will place an even bigger spotlight on Minnesota as the National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife, Sharlene, from Alexandria, Minn., have been officially invited to bring two turkeys to Washington DC for the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey event at the White House. Their special flock hatched in late June and now the Wittenburgs have about 20 turkeys vying for the privilege of traveling to Washington DC.

A video introducing the Wittenburgs and their family history in the turkey industry – both Carl and Sharlene grew up on turkey farms in Minnesota and North Dakota – can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/OPIBTL4-gys.

Today, the couple raises about 100,000 turkeys on their family farm in Wyndmere, North Dakota, while also running a business – Protein Alliance –  for brokering a variety of proteins (including turkey), living in Alexandria, and raising their three sons.

Partnering with Minnesota 4-H

An exciting component of this project is the fact that the Wittenburgs are working with five 4-H members from Douglas County. The high school students are visiting the flock regularly to help the birds get used to people coming and going, noises, music, and so forth. None of the 4-H members had experience working with turkeys before they met the Wittenburgs and participated in a special project for the Science of Agriculture program via Minnesota 4-H last spring. That project placed 2nd in state and now the 4-H members are utilizing their knowledge of turkeys to help get the birds ready for Washington DC.

“We’re so excited to provide such an amazing national platform to showcase Minnesota’s 4-H program, which is an excellent leadership program for kids of all ages” said Carl Wittenburg. “Douglas County is the birthplace of Minnesota 4-H so this was a natural fit for us.”

You can follow along with all the fun on MinnesotaTurkey.com’s website, which has a special National Thanksgiving Turkey section that includes photos, videos, activities for kids, and resources for parents/teachers. The following social media platforms will also be a great place to catch the latest photos and fun events:

Special Events

Coming November 16 is a special Facebook Live virtual tour (starting at 10 am CST) with the Presidential Flock, the Wittenburgs, and the 4-H members. Cosponsored by Minnesota Turkey and Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom, the event is open to anyone – just visit Facebook.com/minnesotaturkey for event details.

“The Facebook Live event will be the perfect opportunity for classrooms to participate and show students the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock while they learn more about turkey farming in Minnesota. Plus there will be plenty of time ask questions during the event,” said Steve Olson, Executive Director, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. “The event is open to anyone with an interest in turkey farming and the National Thanksgiving Turkey project – the more the merrier!”

One of the brothers of the National Thanksgiving Turkey flock will also be at the State Capitol on Friday, November 17 for Minnesota Turkey’s annual Thanksgiving presentation with Governor Mark Dayton.

Name Those Turkeys!

Everyone can also get involved in the Presidential Turkey Naming Contest on the website – visit between now and November 10 and submit your name suggestions for the two turkeys going to Washington DC. We will compile the most popular sets and give them to the White House for consideration.

The official hashtag for the National Thanksgiving Turkey project is #PresidentialTurkey.

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 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2017. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers – from 1st to 6thgeneration farm families – of any state in the U.S. For further information, visithttp://www.minnesotaturkey.com/www.minnesotaturkey.com or find us on Facebook:www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey, Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Pinterest (@MinnesotaTurkey), Snapchat (MinnesotaTurkey), and Instagram (@MinnesotaTurkey).

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Kick-Off to the National Thanksgiving Turkey’s Road to White House

What:

Minnesota expects an invitation from the White House to bring two turkeys to Washington DC the week of Thanksgiving for the annual Presidential pardon. The invitation hasn’t officially been sent yet, but we anticipate that it will come later this fall. We are kicking off the “Road to the White House” at the Minnesota State Fair.

Who:

2017 National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife, Sharlene Wittenburg of Alexandria, Minn. are raising the Presidential flock. Five 4-H members from Douglas County are assisting with the project, helping to train the turkeys to become accustomed to light, noises, music, and people.

When:

Saturday, August 26 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
4-H Exhibits Building; STEM Center – State Fairgrounds

What:

The Wittenburgs along with the five 4-H members and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council’s (MTRPC) Executive Director Steve Olson will be available for interviews regarding the kick-off to the White House. The 4-H members can also talk about how they were chosen to assist with this project – through their participation in the Minnesota 4-H “Science of Ag” Contest, in which they won second place.

A table will be set up in the 4-H Exhibits Building with information on how the public can follow along with the flock this fall via the MinnesotaTurkey.com website and several social media platforms.

Fun Facts:

4-H

  • 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S.
  • The concept of 4-H is encouraging youth to “learn by doing”, through project areas such as agriculture, science, health, and citizenship.
    • Leadership development is a key aspect of the 4-H program.
  • In Minnesota, over 67,000 youth are active in 4-H.
  • Douglas County is the birthplace of Minnesota’s 4-H program.

Presidential Turkey

  • 2017 marks the 70th anniversary that turkey farmers across the United States have presented a turkey to the President of the United States at Thanksgiving time.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) presented the first turkey to President Harry S. Truman in 1947.
  • Early National Thanksgiving Turkeys were destined for a dinner plate until President George H.W. Bush began the official tradition of pardoning the turkey in 1989.
  • Minnesota has had 12 people serve as the National Turkey Federation Chairman – and present a turkey to a President – since the NTF’s inception and 2017 will mark the 13th NTF Chairman from Minnesota to do so.

Turkey Farming

  • Minnesota ranks #1 in United States for turkey production – with 450 family farmers raising 46 million turkeys on 600 farms across the state.
  • Minnesota has more independent turkey farmers than any other state in the U.S. Many of these farmers come from 4th, 5th, and even 6th generation farm families.

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA)

  • The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), established in 1939, represents the 450 farms and farm families who raise 46 million turkeys annually.
  • Minnesota turkey farms are family – and often have been in the family for 4, 5, and even 6th generations.

National Turkey Federation (NTF)

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) strives to support, grow, and promote turkey across the United States.

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17 Fun Facts for 2017: Minnesota Turkey & Turkey To Go Concession

Contact:                                                                                            

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council

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

ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

  1. Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 59 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’re offering TWO new products this year at Turkey To Go – meaty, juicy, mouth-watering Turkey Ribs and Turkey to Go by the Pound (frozen and ready to take home)!
  3. Our menu:
  • Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($7.75)
  • NEW in 2017 Turkey Ribs ($7.75) – Flavors include original, sweet glazed, or buffalo
  • Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumstick (Original, Sweet Glazed & Buffalo – $8.75)
  • NEW in 2017 Turkey by the Pound – Frozen Turkey To Go product that you can take home with you! ($16.75 per pound)
  • Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich – Our signature Turkey To Go product, an egg, and slice of American cheese on a bun ($7.75 or add optional turkey bacon for an additional $1.00)
  • Toppings: bleu cheese & buffalo sauce; brie & cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon & sweet glaze ($2.50)
  1. A portion of every sale goes to Hunger Solutions Minnesota. Since 2008, TTG has donated over $58,000.
  2. Turkey To Go is located next to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand (1256 Clough Street).
  3. Turkey To Go was named the People’s Choice Award for “Best Food or Beverage” at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair!
  4. Turkey to Go by the numbers:
  • We expect to cook approximately 39,500 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this.
  • From 2011-2016, Turkey To Go sold a total of 281,309 Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches and 64,026 Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks!
  1. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.
  2. Don’t forget about our breakfast sandwich, which debuted in 2015 – the “Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich” that includes our famous Turkey To Go pulled turkey, an egg, slice of American cheese on choice of bun Turkey bacon can also be added for an additional $1.00.
  3. Turkey To Go also has locations at Target Field. Up-to-date location information can be found at twitter.com/turkeytogo or visit www.turkeytogo.com for details.
    • Target Field – Turkey To Go is behind home plate between sections 112 and 113 as well as outside Section 318.
  4. Turkeys raised in the 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. (and there hasn’t been since the 1950s) and they aren’t needed.
  5. Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 450 turkey farmers who raise approximately 46 million turkeys annually on 600 farms. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of our turkey producers are 4th, 5th, and 6th generation farmers.
  6. MTGA was formed in 1939 as a nonprofit trade association dedicated to fostering a successful turkey industry. Today MTGA and its sister organization, 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.
  7. Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat.
  8. MTGA’s Web site – minnesotaturkey.com – features links to turkey recipes for consumers and the foodservice industry. We also have recipes at our State Fair booth in the Dairy Building.
  9. Producing a quality, nutritious and safe product is the top priority for turkey farmers as well as turkey processing companies, which follow USDA guidelines for food safety. Consumers, too, need to do their part to ensure that turkey is handled properly in the kitchen and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., as measured by a food thermometer.

Find us on the Web at com or MinnesotaTurkey.com and on social media:

Facebook – facebook.com/TurkeyToGo and facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey

Twitter – @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

Pinterest – pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey

Instagram – @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

 

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Turkey To Go Debuts Turkey Ribs at the Minnesota State Fair

Contact:                                                                                            

  • Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council
  • Ph: 763/682-2171 (office) or 612/554-0920 (cell)
  • ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

(Buffalo, MN) … Turkey To Go, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’s (MTGA) food stand at the Minnesota State Fair, will debut a brand-new product to its menu at this year’s fair – turkey ribs!

These ribs are meaty, tender, juicy, and so flavorful – everything you would expect from the turkey experts at Turkey To Go. The ribs – which feature all white meat – will sell for $7.75 per serving and comes in three flavor choices – original, sweet glazed, and buffalo.

“We’re very excited to debut turkey ribs at the Minnesota State Fair,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “These ribs definitely offer a unique turkey product to fairgoers that is simply mouth-watering with every bite.”

The turkey ribs will complement a menu wholly focused on turkey – from the signature Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich and Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks to the Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich.

Another new offering this year will be Turkey To Go by the pound. Fairgoers will be able to purchase the signature Turkey to Go meat in frozen one-pound bags to easily enjoy at home!

“Turkey To Go by the pound is the ultimate way to bring a taste of the Minnesota State Fair – and Minnesota  turkey – back home with you,” said Olson. “Just stop by Turkey To Go on your way out of the fairgrounds to purchase a bag or two.”

Turkey To Go by the pound will sell for $16.95 per pound.

About Turkey To Go

Turkey To Go concession at the Minnesota State Fair is located 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, which has had a food stand at the Minnesota State Fair since 1958.

Turkey To Go’s Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich comes in its original version or a gigantic half-pound option. The concession stand also serves up its popular roasted turkey drumsticks. Topping choices for these items include: bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce; brie cheese and cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon and sweet glaze. The food stand also serves up its Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich featuring its signature Turkey To Go product, egg, and cheese on a bun – with the option to add turkey bacon as well.

In addition to its location at the Minnesota State Fair, Turkey To Go has two locations in Target Field during Minnesota Twins’ home games (between sections 112-113 and also in 318).

Fans can find Turkey To Go on Facebook (www.facebook.com/turkeytogo), Twitter (@TurkeyToGo), and at www.turkeytogo.com.

About Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (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 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey producers are 4rd, 5th and even 6th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey.  You can also find Minnesota Turkey on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey), and Instagram (@MinnesotaTurkey).

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Editor’s note: High resolution photos of the turkey ribs and Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich are available by request; please email ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.)