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.

Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

News Release

For immediate release

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

Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented its prestigious Ranelius Award to long-time Land ‘O Lakes (now Purina Feeds) employee Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., at its annual meeting

Grant Shold with MTGA President Duane Jaenicke

Grant Shold with MTGA President Duane Jaenicke

on March 13 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said Duane Jaenicke, 2012-13 MTGA President. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Grant Shold is well deserved of this special honor.”

Shold grew up on a farm near Albert City, Iowa, where his family raised cattle, hogs and turkeys. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in poultry science, and afterwards, served four years in the Air Force. Following that, he went to work for Land O’ Lakes as a poultry production specialist, which had responsibility for selling poults (baby turkeys), feed and buying turkeys for Land O’Lakes’ four processing plants.

His 38 years of work with Land O’ Lakes took him to Willmar, Albert Lea and finally Sauk Rapids, Minn., where he worked different positions – all with the focus on turkeys. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked in sales for the Land O’Lakes Purina Feed division and he covers turkey and gamebird feed sales in central and northern Minnesota, North Dakota, southeast Iowa and Central Wisconsin. Shold is planning his retirement this fall.

“Grant knows turkeys and has been a dedicated friend to the turkey industry in the upper Midwest for several decades,” said Jaenicke. “We will miss him and wish him well in his upcoming retirement, and we thank him for the many years of service he has given us.”

Shold served on the MTGA Board of Directors for six years (2007-2013) and has also received the MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Shold and his wife, Donna, have been married 32 years. They have three children and two granddaughters, all of whom live close by.

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.

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 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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: 2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, right, with Grant Shold.

MTGA Announces Ranelius Scholarship Recipients

News Release

For immediate release

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

MTGA Announces Ranelius Scholarship Recipients

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) announced two 2013 Ranelius Scholarship awards for $2,500 each to worthy University of Minnesota students at its annual meeting on March 13 in Saint Paul, Minn.

This is a competitive award given to a current student(s) with an interest in poultry and agriculture. The recipients are as follows:

Lindsay Bush

Bush is a first-year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota and has a BS in animal science. Her career goal is to work as a pathologist helping poultry farmers identify the cause of mortality and prevent future loss.

Michaela “Mickie” Trudeau

Trudeau is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota majoring in animal science. She is a member of the Pre-Vet and Gopher Poultry Science clubs and has been a student worker under the tutelage of poultry Extension research Dr. Sally Noll. After graduation, she plans to either attend veterariny school (with an emphasis on poultry) or attend graduate school to work on turkey nutrition research.

“On behalf of MTGA, I congratulate all these young people and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors, as they work toward their specific career goals in agriculture,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson.

For more information on the MTGA or its Ranelius Scholarship program, please visit www.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 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

Doug & Linda Hedlund, Roseau, Minn., Receive Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

News Release

For immediate release

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

Doug & Linda Hedlund, Roseau, Minn., Receive Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

Doug and Linda Hedlund

Doug and Linda Hedlund

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored Doug and Linda Hedlund of Roseau, Minn., with its 2013 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

The Hedlunds are 2nd generation turkey farmers who raise 60,000 turkeys annually for the farmer-owned Northern Pride Cooperative out of Thief River Falls, Minn.  In addition to their farm, however, Doug and Linda took over managing concessions at the Roseau hockey arena 33 years ago. About 15 years ago the two added turkey wings to the menu. When those proved to be a bit too labor intensive, they switched to a bone-in turkey breast sandwich served on a hamburger bun, which remains an extremely popular menu item today.

The Hedlunds also cater weddings, graduations, reunions and company picnics.

“Doug and Linda have done an outstanding job showing that turkey is a delicious option all year-round, said said MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson.  “Their passion for promoting turkey through their concession stand and catering business is inspiring and we appreciate the work they are doing on behalf of the turkey industry.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 13 in Saint Paul, Minn.

For more information about the Promoter of the Year Award or the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council, please call 763/682-2171, email info@minnesotaturkey.com or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

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Wittenburgs of Alexandria, MN Honored for Extraordinary Efforts

News Release

For immediate release

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

 

Wittenburgs of Alexandria, MN Honored for Extraordinary Efforts on Behalf of the Turkey Industry

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg of Alexandria, MN for their extraordinary efforts to grow and strengthen the North Dakota Poultry Industries

2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, left, with Sharlene and Carl Wittenburg

2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, left, with Sharlene and Carl Wittenburg

Convention, which is held annually in December in Fargo, ND.

The couple received the MTGA President’s Award from outgoing President Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn. The MTGA President’s Award is given annually to individual(s) chosen specifically for their dedication and commitment to the goals of the organization.

“I consider one of the most important goals of the MTGA is to strengthen grower profitability,” said Jaenicke. “This is done by providing growers with relevant information to improve their farms, businesses and ability to raise turkeys. The North Dakota Poultry Industries Convention  meets that criteria in large part because of the leadership and tireless efforts of Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg.”

The North Dakota Poultry Industries Convention attracts a large group of attendees from Minnesota each year to Fargo, and has seen tremendous growth over the past five years.

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 13.

The Wittenburgs raise turkeys and also co-own Protein Alliance, a full-service trading company, which represents Northern Pride Cooperative, Thief River Falls, Minn., in the sales of all their products. The company also works with all of the turkey processors in the country buying and selling all forms of turkey products to domestic and export customers.

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.

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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 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

Outgoing MTGA Board Directors Honored for Service

News Release

For immediate release

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

Outgoing MTGA Board Directors Honored for Service, Dedication to Turkey Industry

(Buffalo, MN)… Tim Johnson, Willmar, Minn.; Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn.; and Gary Thurnau, Faribault, 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 13 in St. Paul, Minn.

“On behalf of MTGA, I thank these three directors for their dedication and leadership to our organization,” said 2013 MTGA President John Zimmerman. “All have made significant contributions to our organization and

Tim Johnson, Grant Shold and Gary Thurnau

Tim Johnson, Grant Shold and Gary Thurnau

Minnesota’s turkey industry and their commitment to both MTGA and to our industry has been invaluable.”

Tim Johnson serves as General Manager of Willmar Poultry Farms, Farm Service Elevator and Turkey Valley Farms. He has worked for WPC for over 40 years and the company currently raises 1 million toms and 3 million hens in Kandiyohi County.  In addition to his recent four-year stint on the MTGA Board, Tim served three terms (a total of nine additional years) on the Board in the late 1990s-2000s and is a Past President.

Gary Thurnau currently serves as Contract Procurement Coordinator for Jennie-O Turkey Store at the Faribault, MN office. Prior to his involvement in the turkey industry, Gary operated a crop and livestock farm. He has worked almost 20 years with The Turkey Store Company and now Jennie-O Turkey Store, and served on the MTGA Board for nine years and is a Past President.

Shold, who is retiring from Purina Feeds this spring, has has been an Allied Director on the Board since 2007. He is also a  current member of the MTGA Allied Committee and received MTGA’s Allied Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and the MTGA Ranelius Award in 2012.

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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 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

MTGA Announces 2013-14 President, Executive Committee

News Release

For immediate release

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

MTGA Announces 2013-14 President, Executive Committee

Officers Hail from Northfield,  Pelican Rapids, Redwood Falls & Roseau

(Buffalo, MN)…John Zimmerman, P & J Products Co., Northfield, Minn., has been elected President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for 2012-2013.

“I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that MTGA will face in the year to come,” said Zimmerman after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting on March 13 in

Saint Paul, Minn. “There are a great variety of businesses in the turkey industry and we don’t all agree on every issue, yet whether you raise a few thousand or several million turkeys, or work in a supporting industry, there are issues that affect us all and that is where associations like MTGA come in. A centralized organization dedicated to the well-being and continued success of our industry helps us achieve our goals.”

2013-14 MTGA Officers: Treasurer Gene Brownfield; Past President Duane Jaenicke; President John Zimmerman; and Vice President John Gorton.

2013-14 MTGA Officers: Treasurer Gene Brownfield; Past President Duane Jaenicke; President John Zimmerman; and Vice President John Gorton.

Zimmerman indicated that the number one goal of Minnesota’s turkey farmers in the coming year will be a return to profitability. “We need to continue to work with the University of Minnesota on relevant and timely research projects, continue to promote a positive image of our operations and animal husbandry practices,  and continue to develop and support  reasonable legislation and regulations that will help us remain competitive,” Zimmerman said.

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 3-4 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) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of MARL. In addition, he is board secretary of the River County Co-op. He and his wife, Kara, live in Northfield.

Jaenicke succeeds Duane Jaenicke, who officially steps into the Past President role.  Jaenicke runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The farm raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls, Minn.

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 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.

The remaining two members of the MTGA / MTRPC Executive Committee are Vice President  John Gorton, Gorton Turkeys Inc., Pelican Rapids, Minn., and Secretary-Treasurer Gene Brownfield, Winter Creek Farms, Redwood Falls, Minn.

John Gorton of Gorton Turkeys has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including 18 active years as an adult – the early years with Jennie-O and later with this father.  Gorton Turkeys raises 360,000 hens, 44,000 consumer toms, 50,000 KBI toms and 50,000 heavy toms annually.

John is currently in starting his third term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors, having served since 2007. He also has been a featured farmer for the Farmers Feed Us program in Minnesota. John, his wife Trudy and family live in Pelican Rapids and have two sons. . He is an active member of the Pelican Rapids Jaycees and volunteers as a Den Leader for Cub Scouts.

Secretary-Treasurer Gene Brownfield currently produces 900,000 hens on farms in Renville and Brown counties. Gene represents MTGA on the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition (MAWRC) and has served on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors since 2008. Gene currently serves as an Elder at Cornerstone Christian Church and is a director in several local and state ministries. He also serves on the Boards and volunteers in community activities. Gene and his wife Janette have two children, Dean, who runs the family farm and Jayne who lives in Waconia. They also follow the activities of three active grandsons.

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 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

 

 

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MN Turkey Council Board Election Results

News Release

For immediate release

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

 

MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

Directors Hail from Pelican Rapids, Northfield and Willmar

(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

John Gorton, Pelican Rapids

Region 2

John Zimmerman, Northfield

At-Large Positions

Scott Christensen, Willmar

Christopher Huisinga, Willmar

Scott Jones, Willmar

Incumbents elected to their second terms on the Board include John Gorton , Scott Jones and John Zimmerman; new Directors are Scott Christensen and Christopher Huisinga.

All five 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 approximately 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:

John Gorton (incumbent) – REGION 1 POSITION

John Gorton of Gorton Turkeys has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including approximately 20 active years as an adult – nearly 6 with Jennie-O and 14 with this father. Gorton Turkeys have raised approximately 500,000 turkeys (hens, light and heavy) annually.

Issues of particular importance to John include maintaining the role of the independent turkey grower in Minnesota’s turkey industry.

Christopher Huisinga and Scott Christensen

Christopher Huisinga and Scott Christensen

John, his wife Trudy and family live in Pelican Rapids and have two sons, Blaine (age 15), and Jay (age 13). He is a past Board Member of the City of Pelican Rapids Planning Commission; an organizer of youth football (2008-2009); and a past leader for Cub/Boy Scouts (2004-2009). His hobbies include golf and pontooning.

This is John’s third term on the Board. He currently serves as Vice President.

Scott Christensen – AT-LARGE POSITION              

Scott Christensen currently works as the Director of Breeders, Hatchery and Nutrition Services for Jennie-O Turkey Store and his office is based in Spicer, Minn. He has spent 32 years in the food industry, with 9 of those directly in the turkey industry.

In addition to his work at Jennie-O Turkey Store, Scott serves as a board member of West Central Industries and has been a member and volunteer with First Lutheran Church.

Issues of particular importance to Scott include getting a better understanding of how the turkey industry interacts with other Minnesota industries and learning about the critical issues that are facing the turkey industry. He also believes in supporting and promoting local agricultural efforts.

Scott and his wife, Cheri, have three daughers – Carrisa, Tess and Jenna. His hobbies include traveling, golf, fishing and hunting.

Scott Jones

Scott Jones

This is Scott’s first term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

Christopher Huisinga (AT-LARGE POSITION)        

Christopher Huisinga  currently works for Willmar Poultry Company dba Ag Forte as the North Division Manager/Minnesota Breeding and Hatcheries. He has worked in the turkey industry for the past 10 years. He manages breeding farms in Kandiyohi County that raise 580,000 PS breeders and 15,000 GP breeders that produce about 55 million commercial poults on an annual basis.

In addition to his role at WPC/Ag Forte, Chris has served as director on the University of Minnesota West Central Partnership Board (2010); was a committee member on the Florida Bankers Association Legislative Committee (2002); and a committee member on the Biobusiness Alliance Legislative Committee (2009).

Issues of particular concern to Chris include the use and allocation of association resources; disease management; industry issues; consumer relations/perception; industry education; and state and federal legislation impacting the turkey industry.

Chris and his wife, Joi, have one son, Ethan, and one daughter, Ella. In his spare time, Chris enjoys mountain biking, hunting, music and all other sports.

This is Chris’s first term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

Scott Jones (incumbent) – AT-LARGE POSITION

Scott Jones currently works for Jennie-O Turkey Store as Director of Procurement and has been in the turkey business for 20 years. His primary role involves procuring and planning how to utilize growing capacity to meet the planned needs of the company.

While going to college he spent every summer working either on a turkey farm or in one of the Willmar-area processing plants.  After graduating from Concordia College Scott returned to Jennie-O and eventually was offered a job in the Quality Control area.  As part of the Quality Control group he held several positions in the Willmar processing plants from a Quality Control Engineer to Quality Control Manager in two of Jennie-O’s Willmar

John Zimmerman and John Gorton

John Zimmerman and John Gorton

facilities. After working in the Quality Control area, he moved into Live Bird Scheduling which he did up until his current position with Jennie-O Turkey Store.

This is Scott’s second term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

John Zimmerman (incumbent) – REGION 2 POSITION

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 3-4 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) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of MARL. In addition, he is board secretary of the River County Co-op. He and his wife, Kara, live in Northfield.

This is John’s third term on the Board. He currently serves as President.

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 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

 

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MTGA Offers Scholarship Program

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release

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

MN Turkey Growers Association Offers Scholarship Program

(Buffalo, MN) … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is pleased to announce its 2013 Ranelius Scholarship Program, designed to encourage students enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution in Minnesota to prepare for a career in some phase of the turkey industry.

A total of $5,000 is available for scholarship awards. (Actual scholarship amount given out to worthy recipient(s) will be designated by MTGA Board of Directors, based on eligibility and criteria listed below.)

Eligibility:  The MTGA scholarship recipient(s) must be a citizen of the state of Minnesota and either be enrolled or plan to be enrolled in a post high school educational program that will prepare them for employment in some phase of the poultry industry.  While there are no restrictions on the major or program selected, it must provide suitable training for the applicant’s stated career goals.  Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received an MTGA scholarship, and who are either members of the MTGA, or who are family members or employees of members of the MTGA.

Judging Criteria: The selection of the scholarship recipient will be made by an MTGA Board of Directors and based on the applications received.  The committee may withhold the scholarship award if there are insufficient worthy applicants.  An applicant’s scholastic record is a major factor.  Experience, activities and honors received will be considered.  The applicant’s demonstrated interest in the poultry industry, as reflected by past activities and a statement of career plans are also important considerations.

Application:  The application consists of a 3-page listing of requested information (format provided by the MTGA); a 1-page written statement from the applicant; and one letter of recommendation.

Recipients may be asked to participate as a Minnesota Turkey ambassador at public events during the year. Scheduling will be mutually agreed upon and all expenses will be reimbursed.

Deadline:  The deadline for receiving entries is February 15, 2013.  Mail or email entries to:  Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Scholarship Selection Committee, 108 Marty Drive, Buffalo, MN  55313; tlynch@minnesotaturkey.com.

For additional info or an application:  Visit www.minnesotaturkey.com/students-teachers or contact the MTGA at 108 Marty Drive, Buffalo, MN  55313; phone, 763/682-2171; fax, 763/682-5546;   tlynch@minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTGA

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 2012. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

Agriculture Program Specialist / Communications Assistant Position Open

Agriculture Program Specialist / Communications Assistant

An association located in Buffalo, MN seeks an outgoing, detail-oriented person with excellent verbal and written communications skills and enthusiasm for agriculture for a full-time Agriculture Program Specialist / Communications Assistant.

Position includes the following duties:

  • Coordinating a variety of membership programs and events
  • Assisting with educational, public relations and other communications activities/events
  • Web site maintenance
  • Assisting with social media activities
  • Assisting with a variety of member communications pieces, both print and electronic
  • Representing the association at agriculture-related meetings and events – knowledge of agricultural production methods and policy issues.
  • Outreach and programming for high school and college students

Desired Qualifications:

  • Excellent Communications Skills – Written and Oral
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ect.)
  • Proficient and knowledgeable of today’s communication tools and strategies
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite a plus
  • Must have a 2-year college degree and/or related experience
  • Must have a farm background and/or agricultural experience
  • Time management and organization skills
  • Ability to travel as required

The right person must be flexible, self-motivated and enjoy a small office environment with a lot of variety. Send cover letter and resume to MTGA, 108 Marty Dr., Buffalo, MN 55313; or via email to employment2171@gmail.com.

 

MN Turkey Announces Donation of 1,180 turkeys to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben (ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com) or 763/682-2171

Governor Dayton, Minnesota’s Turkey Farmers Usher in Thanksgiving

MTGA Announces Donation of 11,150 Pounds of Turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

St. Paul, MN (November 20, 2012) – A Minnesota-raised tom turkey and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) paid a visit to Governor Mark Dayton today at the State Capital in Saint Paul. The event was a time-honored tradition, going back more than two decades, of Minnesota’s Governor kicking off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota.

“I want to thank Governor Dayton for inviting us here today and continuing the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving and giving thanks for Minnesota’s turkey farmers, our state’s strong agriculture industry and the abundance of food we provide for the world,” said President and turkey farmer Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn.

At the event, Jaenicke announced the donation of 11,150 pounds of turkey – a total of 1,180 whole birds – to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.

“It’s been a trying and challenging year for many families who are struggling to make ends meet,” Jaenicke. “Minnesota’s turkey farmers want to do their part in combating hunger with this donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota,” said Jaenicke. “The turkey we donate today will feed nearly 13,000 people.”

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

Since 2001, MTGA has donated over 190,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state – or enough turkey to feed over 236,000 people. This year, this donation provides turkeys to families in communities such as Cannon Falls, Faribault, Melrose, Willmar, Thief River Falls, Frazee, Perham and Buffalo.

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 Fair and new “likers” to the Minnesota Turkey Facebook page (www.facebook.com/minnesotaturkey).

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

According to HSM, there were 3 million visits to food shelves last year in our state. That reflects an increase of 164% over the past decade. Food shelves are an essential part of the safety net that responds to local need-food shelves fill in the meal gap between paid work and nutrition programs. In the last five years alone, hunger has doubled in Minnesota. This has put an immense strain on our emergency response to food insecurity. Long term unemployment has caused previously middle class families to turn to food shelves for answers to their food needs.

Said Colleen Moriarty, HSM Executive Director: “Our food shelves really appreciate this donation of quality protein. Families that visit the food shelves during the holidays will benefit greatly. We continue to look for creative solutions so that no one in Minnesota has to skip meals or eat food that is low in quality. We greatly appreciate the many ways the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association supports our work.”

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

U.S. turkey production stands at 246 million – 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 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 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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).

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/ , on Twitter @hungersolutions or on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/HungerSolutionsMinnesota

 

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