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.

10 Fun Facts about Minnesota Turkey & Turkey To Go Concession

For immediate release

Contact:                                                                                                      

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Ph: 763/682-2171 (office),  612/554-0920 (mobile), ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 54 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.

We expect to cook approximately 20,000 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this year for our Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches.

Turkey To Go has expanded its mobile food cart presence into multiple locations around the Twin Cities. Up-to-date location information on a daily basis can be found at www.twitter.com/turkeytogo.

  • Downtown Minneapolis – On most weekdays during lunch, Turkey To Go’s Mobile food cart is located at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. During Minnesota Twins home games, the cart is set up at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue.
  • Target Field – Turkey To Go is behind home plate between sections 112 and 113 as well as outside Section 318

Turkey To Go opened two new storefronts – with expanded menu options – in 2011!

  • Downtown Minneapolis in the Baker Building (skyway level), 706 Second Avenue South
  • Downtown St. Paul in the Alliance Bank Building (skyway level), 56 East Sixth Stree

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

Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.

Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 250 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 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers.

Formed in 1939, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), is 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.

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

Producing a quality, nutritious and safe product is the top priority for turkey farmers as well as turkey processing companies, which follow USDA guideliness 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.

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Minnesota’s Turkey Farmers Proud of Turkey To Go’s Ever-Expanding Reach

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

 

Contact:                                                                                                      

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

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

ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Minnesota’s Turkey Farmers Proud of Turkey To Go’s Ever-Expanding Reach

Hunger Solutions MN To Receive Portion of Every State Fair Sale

(Buffalo, MN) … Now in its 54th year at the Minnesota State Fair, the Turkey To Go concession continues to proudly serve turkey raised by Minnesota’s family turkey farmers, as it has done since 1958.

The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) owns the concession stand and its goal now isn’t much different than five decades ago – to showcase to Fairgoers that turkey can be a delicious, nutritious option for meals all year-long.

“Turkey has always been about Thanksgiving and our farmers are proud of that heritage,” said Steve Olson, MTGA Executive Director. “However, our presence at the Minnesota State Fair and the success of Turkey To Go even beyond the fairgrounds has enabled us to show consumers that turkey can be amazing any time of year.”

Turkey To Go at the Minnesota State Fair showcases its signature Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich, along  with a gigantic half-pound version as well as the 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.

Thanks to a mobile cart in downtown Minneapolis, two venus in Target Field, and two indoor food court restaurants in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Turkey To Go has expanded its reach year-round.

Turkey farmer Duane Jaenicke of Roseau, Minn., says he and other turkey farmers are proud to see Turkey To Go’s success. “Many of Minnesota’s turkey farmers are 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generation farmers and their families saw the beginnings of turkey’s State Fair presence in the 1950s and 1960s.  To reach a point where our Giant Juicy Turkey sandwich is a popular lunch-time option in the Twin Cities year-round, and we are a go-to food vendor at Target Field is beyond exciting,” Jaenicke explains. “Plus, the downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul food court locations all offer expanded menu options such as pitas and salads, further highlighting all the delicious ways you can prepare and serve turkey.”

For the fifth straight year at the State Fair, MTGA is proud to announce that a portion of every sale at Turkey To Go will be donated to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (www.hungersolutions.org), an organization that is dedicated to ending hunger.

In addition to the flagship State Fair location, Turkey To Go can be found at the following locations:

  • Mobile food carts (spring, summer and fall) – downtown Minneapolis (6th & Nicollet and 8th & Nicollet) – follow @TurkeyToGo on Twitter for daily updates on location/hours
  • Alliance Bank Building food court (year-round), 56 East 6th Street, downtown St. Paul – Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. – EXPANDED MENU
  • Baker Building food court (year-round), 706 2nd Avenue South, downtown Minneapolis – Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. – EXPANDED MENU
  • Target Field – behind home plate between Sections 112-113 on the main concourse as well as outside Section 318.

“Turkey To Go continues to expand its presence throughout the Twin Cities,” said Olson. “It’s been exciting to be able to showcase delicious and healthy turkey products raised right here in Minnesota by nearly 250 family farmers who are dedicated to raising the highest quality turkey for consumers.”

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’s mobile food cart locations in downtown serve the same menu and can be found most weekdays during lunch at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall.  A second location 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 (@TurkeyToGo).

In addition, Turkey To Go has two locations in Target Field during Minnesota Twins’ home games, and is open year-round with an expanded menu in the Baker Building food court (706 2nd Avenue South, downtown Minneapolis) and the Alliance Bank Building food court (56 East 6th Street, downtown Saint Paul) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. weekdays.

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

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 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 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey.

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MTGA Announces Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

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

MTGA Announces Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Jerry Isley, Willmar Poultry Company, Honored

(Buffalo, MN) … Jerry Isley, the long-time general manager of PALS (a subsidiary of Willmar Poultry Company) was honored for his many years of service to Minnesota’s turkey industry at  the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Summer Meeting last month in Bemidji, MN. Isley of Willmar, Minn., received the 2012 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.

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 Member Grant Shold of Land O’Lakes Purina Feed made the awards presentation.

Isley  grew up in North Dakota and worked at his family’s hardware store for many years, until that business was sold. He moved to Perham, Minn. where he eventually began working for a turkey breeding farm and started making the important people connections that led him to his current stint with Willmar Poultry Company.

Once Isley was hired at PALS/Willmar Poultry Company, he spent four years in territory sales in the northern half of Minnesota and North Dakota, and a little bit of South Dakota. At the same time, the Pal-Tech ventilation system was starting to grow dramatically and there was a desire from the company to take it to a bigger territory – more national. And that’s exactly what Jerry did – he traveled all over the country, working with sales reps in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, California to name just a few states – selling the ventilation system and the Pal-Tech controls.

Said Shold, “As General Manager of PALS, Jerry Isley has met so many people and represented the turkey industry well.”

Isley  was most recently a Board Director and Past President of the Midwest Poultry Federation Board of Directors and he participate in many industry events through the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Broiler & Egg Association of Minnesota.

“Jerry is intending to retire from PALS later this year and he and his wife, Lois, wuld like to settle somewhere warm in retirement,” said Shold. “On behalf of MTGA, I am proud to honor Jerry Isley with the 2012 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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

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MTGA Welcomes New Allied Director to Board

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:            ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has appointed Jeff Stauffenecker, Willmar, Minn., as the newest Allied Director to its Board. Stauffenecker is co-owner of Protein Alliance, which represents Northern Pride Cooperative in the sales of all its turkey 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.

Stauffenecker grew up on a turkey farm in northwestern Minnesota. After graduating from NDSU, he worked for Northern Pride for 2 years working with the growers as the procurement manager and coordinating production in the plant. He then went to work for Jennie-O as a commodity sales manager for 4 years, selling commodity whole birds and parts, working with the school lunch program, exports and purchasing additional meat needs. In 1999, he co-founded Protein Alliance.

Stauffenecker currently serves on the MTRPC Promotions Committee. He has also been a youth coach and coordinator with the Willmar Soccer Association and is a volunteer at the Willmar Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner through Redeemer Lutheran Church.

“We are pleased to welcome Jeff to the MTGA Board of Directors,” said 2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke of Roseau, Minn. “Jeff’s knowledge and expertise on the sales and marketing side of the turkey industry will be greatly valued by the farmers and other allied directors on the Board.”

Stauffenecker’s three-year term on the MTGA Board began March 1, 2012. For more information, please contact MTGA at (763) 682-2171 or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

About MTGA

The MTGA –  founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Buffalo, Minn. –  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 47 million turkeys in 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

 

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MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     lara@minnesotaturkey.com

 

MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

Directors Hail from Viking, Morristown, Melrose, Litchfield and Kensington

(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 Umber, Viking

Region 2

Kim Halvorson, Morristown

Grower-At-Large

Leon Klaphake, Melrose

Michael Langmo, LItchfield

Breeder-At-Large

Dana Nelson, Kensington

Incumbents elected to their second terms on the Board include John Umber and Michael Langmo; new Directors are Kim Halvorson, Leon Klaphake and Michael Langmo.

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

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

John Umber – Region 1 candidate

John Umber has been in the turkey industry for 26 years, currently raising 160,000 hens for Umber Turkeys Inc. in Viking, MN. This will be John’s 2nd term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

John has volunteered with Minnesota Extension, been a member of a five-county feedlot committee, and is also a member of the Marshall County Feedlot Planning Committee.

He and his wife, Gloria, have three children: Steven, Amanda and Desiree. John’s hobbies include moto-cross, fishing, paintball and hunting.

Kim Halvorson – Region 2 candidate

Kim Halvorson of Morristown, MN owns and operates Halvorson Farms with her husband, Dennis. She has been a turkey farmer for 23 years and raises approximately 100,000 heavy toms/year (about 3.2 million pounds/year) annually in Rice County.

This is Kim’s 1st term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

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 of 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 is seeking her first term on the MTGA and MTRPC Board of Directors.

She and Dennis have three daughters – Breann, Benita and Greta – and a son, Bernt. Their daughters are out of college and Bernt will be transfering to the University of Minnesota beginning January 2012.

Leon Klaphake – Grower-At-Large candidate

Leon Klaphake of Klaphake Feed Mill, Inc. in Melrose, MN has logged 31 years in the turkey industry. He and his family raise approximately 1.8 million hens annually in Stearns, Douglas and Todd counties. This is Leon’s 1st term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

He sits on the finance committee for St. Mary’s Parish and is also a member of Stearns County Pheasants Forever. Issues of particular importance to Leon include animal welfare, keeping young people involved and educated about the industry, and ethanol.

He and his wife, Mary, have two children – Ashley (a senior at St. Cloud State University) and Chris (a sophomore at St. Cloud State University).  Leon’s hobbies include golfing, hunting, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

Michael Langmo – Grower-At-Large candidate

Michael Langmo has spent 31 years in the turkey industry, currently raising approximately 190,000 turkeys annually in Eden Valley, MN – mostly light hens with a couple of heavy hen/consumer tom flocks. This is Michael’s 2nd term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

For the past 14 years, Michael has been chairman of the worship and music committee of his church, where he and his wife are also actively involved in the church choir, handbell choir and men’s quartet.

Michael holds a B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in agriculture education. He and his wife, Debbie, have been marred 27 years and their son, David, is married with two children. Michael and Debbie enjoy camping and spending time with the grandchildren as well as their two Labrador retrievers. Michael also enjoys woodworking/building furniture.

Dana Nelson

Dana Nelson of Oakdale Farm in Kensington raises breeder hens in Douglas County and is a fourth generation turkey farmer. His great grandmother started raising turkeys at the turn of the centure and then his grandfather expanded the operation.

This is Dana’s 1st term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors and he will represent turkey breeders from across Minnesota. Dana is also involved in the church council for Messiah Lutheran Church and has been an adult leader of the Runestone 4-H Club for six years.

Dana and his wife, Deb, have three daughters: Erica, Jenna and Lauren. When he’s not raising turkeys, Dana enjoys gardening and antique tractors.

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 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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MTGA Announces 2012-13 President, Executive Committee

For immediate release                                               

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

MTGA Announces 2012-13 President, Executive Committee

Officers Hail from Roseau, Northfield and Pelican Rapids

 

(Buffalo, MN)… Duane Jaenicke, P & Turkeys Inc., Roseau, 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 Jaenicke after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting on March 14 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Jaenicke runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The operation raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls, 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. In his spare time, Duane enjoys fishing and camping.

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

Jaenicke succeeds Jeff Lindell, who officially retired from the Board after serving three, three-year terms including this past year as President. Lindell raises turkeys for Peterson Turkey Hatchery in Cannon Falls, Minn.

The remaining two members of the MTGA / MTRPC Executive Committee are Vice President  John Zimmerman, P & J Products Co., Northfield, Minn., and Treasurer John Gorton, Gorton Turkeys Inc., Pelican Rapids, Minn.

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

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

Treasurer John Gorton has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including approximately 15 active years as an adult – nearly 6 with Jennie-O and 9 with this father.  Gorton Turkeys raises 360,000 hens, 44,000 consumer toms, 50,000 KBI toms and 50,000 heavy toms annually in Pelicans Rapids

John is currently in the midst of serving his second term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors, having been elected in 2007 and then re-elected in 2010. 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 a current Board Member of the City of Pelican Rapids Planning Commission; an organizer of youth football (2008-2009); and a leader for Cub/Boy Scouts (2004-2008).

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 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

 

 

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

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

 

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

(Buffalo, MN)… Rick Klaphake of Melrose, Minn., Jeff Lindell of Cannon Falls, Minn., and Jim Trites of Henning, 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 14 in St. Paul, Minn.

“On behalf of MTGA, I thank these three directors for their dedication and leadership to our organization,” said incoming 2012 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke. “All have made significant contributions to our organization and Minnesota’s turkey industry and their commitment to both MTGA and to our industry has been invaluable.”

Klaphake raises approximately 1.1 million turkeys annually with R & L Turkeys, a family farm in Melrose. He spent nine years on the Board, including one year as President.

Lindell raises approximately five flocks of turkeys annually for Peterson Turkey Hatchery, a family farm in Cannon Falls. He also served nine years on the Board, this last year as President.

Trites of Elanco Animal Health has been an Allied Director on the Board since 2006. He is also a  current member of the MTGA Allied Committee.

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Honored

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Honored

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored five individuals this year for their extraordinary promotion of Minnesota turkey and their dedication and commitment to the goals of the association.

Receiving the 2012 MTGA President’s Award are:

  • Brianna Hoover
  • Brenna Ahlquist
  • Preston Asche
  • Val Brown
  • Jennifer Baumgartner

Brianna, Brenna, Preston and Val are Willmar High School students and FFA members who were instrumental to the success of the 2011 President Turkey project that was coordinated by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Willmar Poultry Company and the National Turkey Federation.

The students cared daily for a special flock of turkeys last fall, two of which were destined for a trip to the White House to be pardoned by President Barack Obama. In addition to the daily care and human interaction the birds needed in order to be trained for any Presidential duties, the students also made educational school visits in the Twin Cities, conducted media interviews, and even blogged about their experiences raising the Presidential turkeys.

Jennifer Baumgartner, whose full-time role with Life-Science Innovations and Willmar Poultry Company includes communications & employee relations, was honored for her hard work and efforts in organizing the students and their busy schedules, assisting MTGA with photos and video-taping, coordinating on-site media stories in Willmar, and serving as a chaperone to Washington DC, where she and the FFA students witnessed the Presidential pardon of the official National Thanksgiving Turkey.

“This entire project was made even more special because of these FFA students and the assistance of Jenn Baumgartner,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “We appreciated the time and work they all did to make sure this project went off without a hitch. They were excellent spokespeople for Minnesota’s turkey farmers.”

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’ s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 14.

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

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and 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 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

 

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Turkey Guys, Inc. Receives Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Turkey Guys, Inc. Receives Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored Turkey Guys, Inc. with its 2012 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

Turkey Guys, Inc. – owned by Twin Citians Daniel Perkins and Drew Levin – has been instrumental in expanding the reach of Minnesota Turkey’s “Turkey To Go” restaurant at the Minnesota State Fair. Not only do the Turkey Guys currently manage the State Fair operation, but they are licensed by MTGA for the use of its “Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich” and the use of the Turkey To Go name beyond the State Fair.

In 2010, the company opened up its first Turkey To Go outlet – a mobile food cart – in downtown Minneapolis. In 2011, they expanded to include a location at the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field as well as indoor store fronts in downtown Saint Paul (Alliance Bank Building food court) and downtown Minneapolis (Baker Building food court). In 2012, they will add a second location of the Turkey To Go concession at Target Field.

“By taking the our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich beyond the State Fair and building additional fan base, Turkey Guys has significantly increased sales at the State Fair,” said MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson. “We value and appreciate the commitment and passion for promoting Turkey To Go that both Daniel and Drew have shown over the past few years and we look forward to what the future will bring for Turkey To Go.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 14 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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Turkey Farmer Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Turkey Farmer Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented its prestigious Ranelius Award to long-time turkey farmer Gilbert Klaphake, Melrose, Minn., at its annual meeting on March 14 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said Jeff Lindell, 2011-12 MTGA President. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Gilbert Klaphake is well deserved of this special honor.”

“This year’s recipient’s love of farming began when he was a boy helping his dad on their small dairy farm in central Minnesota,” said MTGA Executive Director. “The oldest son of eight children, Gilbert Klaphake learned early the benefit of a hard day’s work.”

Later as an adult and after owning his own dairy farm for 10 years, a shortage of local land to purchase forced Gilbert to look at other options. In the mid-1960s, hogs drew his attention for a bit, but after discussing the possibility of raising turkeys with a friend, he thought this might be a better way to go. “And they rest, as they say, is history,” said Olson.

Gilbert raised his first flock of turkeys in 1966, continuing to expand every year after that. In 1972, his oldest son joined him, and the two started making their own feed in a small, privately-owned feed mill. During this same time, he purchased more farms along with his two brothers and other partners.

“As his business grew, he made his family was his first priority,” said Olson. “This has truly been a family business as each generation has helped in one way or another, from the beginning through today.”

“In 1980, another son joined the business and since that time, they’ve expanded their farms to raise about 28 million pounds of turkey and 38,000 tons of feed annually. “Plus, they’ve added a 3rd generation with two grandsons joining the business to carry on the legacy started by this pioneer,” said Olson.

Gilbert served on the MTGA Board of Directors for six years; was an advocate of the University of Minnesota turkey research program; and belonged to the University of Minnesota President’s Club. He also was active in Melrose for many years, serving on several boards and the Grove Township Planning and Zoning Commission.

“Gilbert still comes to the office most days so he can keep his number crunching talent sharp and to continue to mentor his sons and grandsons,” said Olson.

Gilbert and his wife of 57 years, Sally, have four children, 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

“On behalf of MTGA, I want to thank Gilbert for his service and dedication to Minnesota’s turkey industry,” said Olson. “He is truly an inspiration and helped shape our industry into what it is today – a powerhouse of family farmers who raise more turkeys than any other state in the U.S.”

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 lara@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 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.