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.

MTGA Announces Ranelius Scholarship Recipients

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

 

MTGA Announces Ranelius Scholarship Recipients

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented six Ranelius Scholarship awards to worthy high school and college students at its annual meeting on March 14 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:

Beau Buysse – Ghent, Minn.

Beau is the son of MTGA members Jeff and Rhonda Buysse of Ghent, Minn. He is majoring in agribusiness management with a minor in finance at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. His goal is to own his own turkey farm.

Bernt Halvorson – Morristown, Minn.

Bernt is the son of MTGA members Dennis and Kim Halvorson of Morristown, Minn. He attended South Central College for two years and is now at the University of Minnesota majoring in agricultural education.

Chris Klaphake – Melrose, Minn.

Chris is the son of MTGA members Leon and Mary Klaphake of Melrose, Minn. He is a junior at St. Cloud State University majoring in business and also works full-time at the family feed mill and turkey farms. His goal is to become part of the family turkey business.

Vanessa Burkel – Badger, Minn.

Vanessa is the daughter of MTGA members John and Joni Burkel, Badger, Minn. She is a senior in high school and is active in 4-H, band, choir, National Honor Society and golf. She plans to attend the University of North Dakota to major in political science. She is interested in lobbying and advocating for the turkey industry.

Aaron and Kyle Miller – Hanska, Minn.

Aaron and Kyle are sons of MTGA members Tim and Jill Miller of Hanska, Minn. Both are seniors in high school. Aaron has held multiple leadership positions in New Ulm FFA including serving as the current President. Kyle is also a member of New Ulm FFA and is a four-time FFA poultry production placement award winner. They are currently deciding between attending either South Dakota State University or the University of Minnesota, majoring in general agriculture. Both hope to farm after college and one day take over the management of the family farm.

“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 contact Matt Herdering at 763/682-2171 or matt@minnesotaturkey.

###

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.

MTGA Offers Scholarship Program

Contact: Lara Durben

Phone: 763/682-2171

Email: lara@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN) … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is pleased to announce its 2012 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.

Deadline:  The deadline for receiving entries is February 15, 2012.  Mail entries to:  Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Scholarship Selection Committee, 108 Marty Drive, Buffalo, MN  55313.

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;   matt@minnesotaturkey.com.

###

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 2010. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

 

Governor Dayton, Senator Klobuchar Help Send Off Presidential Turkeys to White House for Pardon

MTGA Also Announces Donation of $11,200 to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release

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

St. Paul, MN (November 18, 2011) – Two very Presidential turkeys 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 at least two decades, of Minnesota’s Governor unofficially kicking off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota. Also at the event was honored guest Senator Amy Klobuchar.

The Presidential turkeys are part of a flock of about 30 turkeys (all male, or toms), being raised in Willmar, Minn. by four FFA students and Willmar Poultry Company.  Two of the best-behaved turkeys in the flock will be chosen to travel to Washington D.C. next week to be pardoned by President Obama at the White House – continuing a 64-year tradition of the National Thanksgiving Turkey event.

“It is a huge honor for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its Alternate to come from Minnesota this year,” said Steve Olson, MTGA Executive Director. “The White House Thanksgiving event has been a tradition since President Truman so our turkey farmers in Minnesota feel blessed to be part of such an amazing history. It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to highlight what farmers do each and every day to ensure safe, delicious and affordable turkey products.”

Current National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman Richard Huisinga, an executive with Willmar Poultry Company, will present the turkey to President Obama. Also attending the ceremony in the Rose Garden will be Huisinga’s wife, Randi and their three children; the four FFA students from Willmar High School: Brianna Hoover, Brenna Ahlquist, Val Brown and Preston Asche; their FFA advisor/teacher Neal Pearson of Willmar High School; and MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson.

Huisinga is the 10th NTF Chairman from Minnesota to present the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President.

At the Governor’s event on Friday, MTGA President Jeff Lindell, a turkey farmer from Cannon Falls, Minn., announced the donation of $11,200 to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be used to buy Minnesota grown turkey products for distribution to food shelves across the state. This is enough turkey to feed over 13,000 people. These funds have been raised from contributions by Minnesota’s turkey farmers and our allied members as well as a portion of the sales from our Turkey To Go restaurant at the Minnesota State Fair; and new “likers” to our Minnesota Turkey facebook page. Turkey To Go’s mobile food cart in downtown Minneapolis also has pledged to donate turkey to families in need through HSM with every order of carved turkey they receive by Thanksgiving.

“Many families this year continue to be challenged by their economic situation this year, and Minnesota’s turkey farmers want to do their part in combating hunger with this donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota,” said Lindell.

Lindell raises approximately 50,000 tom turkeys annually for the Dick Peterson family and Ferndale Market near Randolph. He also grows corn and soybeans,and is a member of the Randolph FFA Alumni Association as well as the Dakota County Farm Bureau.

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, hunger in Minnesota has doubled in the last 5 years.  There is a steep rise in need for emergency food programs.  Food shelf directors report seeing an increase in veterans and highly-educated people seeking assistance. There are a lot of people coming into food shelves seeking advice because they have now run upon the end of their unemployment insurance (more than 99 weeks) and have nowhere else to turn.

Said Colleen Moriarty, HSM Executive Director: “This generous gift will go a long way to assist working families that are making less and cannot afford healthy food for their children during the holidays and beyond.  One in eight children in Minnesota live in food insecure households. We greatly appreciate the continued support of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.”

Since 2001, MTGA has donated nearly 180,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state – or enough turkey to feed over 223,000 people.  This year, the donation of money will provide turkeys to families in communities such as Cannon Falls, Faribault, Melrose, Willmar, Thief River Falls, Frazee, Perham and Buffalo.

Approximately 250 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 46 million birds annually, which places Minnesota squarely 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.

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 nearly $12 in economic value to the state.

###

About MTGA

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

About Willmar Poultry Company

For over 65 years, Willmar Poultry Company has led the turkey industry in breeding and hatchery technologies. Its Willmar, Minnesota hatchery is the world’s largest and most advanced, and hatches upwards of 160,000 turkey poults a day. WPC and its sister companies employ nearly 1,600 people in five states. WPC has remained family-owned and operated since 1945.

Name That National Thanksgiving Turkey Contest Opens November 1

PRESS RELEASE

Contact:  Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association at 763/682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Willmar, MN – November 1, 2011) – Minnesota residents have an opportunity to submit name suggestions for a pair of turkeys that are being raised in order to be presented to President Obama later this month. The top names will be submitted to the White House to be considered for naming the 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Contestants will be asked to submit two names, one for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and another for his alternate, who will also make the trip to Washington. Names may be submitted November 1st -10th on the Presidential Turkey website: www.minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey. (Contest is only open to Minnesota residents ages 13 and over.)

From November 11th – 15th the public will be able to vote on their favorite pair of names on Minnesota Turkey’s Facebook site: www.facebook.com/minnesotaturkey.  Simply log into Facebook, search for “Minnesota Turkey” and click “like” prior to casting your vote. The 10 most popular sets of names from the Facebook voting will be forwarded to the White House for consideration when naming the National Thanksgiving Turkey.

Past names for the turkeys include: “Pumpkin and Pecan,” “May and Flower,” Marshmallow and Yamy.” Last year’s names were “Apple and Cider.”  Final name selection of the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his alternate rests in the hands of President Obama and his family.

The turkeys are being raised on behalf of National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman Rick Huisinga, an executive with Willmar Poultry Company, on a farm near Willmar, Minn.  If invited, the turkeys will be presented to the President by Huisinga and his family.  NTF anticipates an official invitation will come sometime after November 1.

The birds are cared for specifically by a group of four FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) students from Willmar Area High School, with help from Willmar Poultry Company employees.

The turkeys are being raised just like any turkey flock in Minnesota. The birds eat a wholesome, nutritious mix of Minnesota-raised corn and soybeans, along with vitamins and minerals. The birds also have access to fresh water 24-7 and live in comfortable surroundings that protect them from bad weather and potential predators. The only difference with this flock is that they are provided increased interaction with people so that, if chosen, any of the birds will be prepared for his role at the White House ceremony.

The annual presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President has become a highly anticipated ritual in the nation’s Capital, signaling the unofficial beginning of the holiday season and providing the president an opportunity to reflect publicly on the meaning of Thanksgiving.

###

About WPC

For over 65 years, Willmar Poultry Company has led the turkey industry in breeding and hatchery technologies. Its Willmar, Minnesota hatchery is the world’s largest and most advanced, and hatches upwards of 160,000 turkey poults a day. WPC and its sister companies employ nearly 1,600 people in five states. WPC has remained family-owned and operated since 1945.

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

Willmar Poultry Company, MTGA Raising Presidential Turkey Hopeful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Jenn Baumgartner, Life-Science Innovations at 320/222-9750 ext 2710

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association at 763/682-2171

 

If invited by the White House, Willmar Poultry Company (WPC) executive, Rick Huisinga, will present President Obama and his family with the 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkey in November. Huisinga will have this honor as the 2011 Chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

The annual presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the president has become a highly anticipated ritual in the nation’s capital, signaling the unofficial beginning of the holiday season and providing the president an opportunity to reflect publicly on the meaning of Thanksgiving.

The 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkey eggs were laid at a WPC farm in early June and they hatched at the WPC Hatchery in Willmar on July 7, 2011. In September, a small number of male turkeys, or toms, from that hatch were selected and moved to a facility specially designed for them. One of those toms will ultimately be selected as the National Thanksgiving Turkey, and one will be his alternate.

The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and WPC are working in tandem on the project and see it as a great opportunity to highlight Minnesota’s turkey industry and its farmers. “I’ve asked MTGA to be very involved in this project because it’s important to me that the entire Minnesota turkey industry gain visibility during this project,” said Huisinga. “We don’t get this opportunity every year, and I’d like to make sure that people all over the country know how significant turkey is to Minnesota and Kandiyohi County specifically.”

The National Thanksgiving Turkeys are being raised using normal feeding and other production techniques. The one exception is that the birds are provided increased interaction with people so that they will be prepared for the White House Ceremony.

WPC and MTGA selected four FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) students from Willmar Area High School to help with the birds’ care and to provide that increased interaction. The FFA team members visit the birds for an hour each day to check the birds’ feed and water, and to clean the pens when necessary. In addition, they sit amongst the birds to acclimate them to movement and sounds not normally found in a turkey barn, such as music, clapping and human conversation. They also pet the birds as part of the taming routine. In the coming weeks, the kids will begin picking up the birds and placing them on a table in simulation of the White House ceremony.

MTGA is hosting and maintaining a special section on its website for the project at www.minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey. The website includes pictures, video and a weekly blog written by the FFA team chronicling their experiences with the birds and the project as a whole. The site also features fun turkey puzzles, mazes and color sheets for kids as well as information for parents on nutrition, food safety and plenty of family-friendly turkey recipes.

To extend the educational reach of this very special opportunity, MTGA and WPC are coordinating with several schools in the Twin Cities to provide a program for elementary students, which will culminate in live turkeys being brought into the classrooms. Schools were initially contacted through Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom and the schedule of presentations was coordinated through MTGA.

“We’re excited to be able bring turkeys into the classroom because it’s really the best way for kids to learn more about where their food comes from and the important work that all farmers do to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food to the world,” said Steve Olson, executive director of MTGA. “An added bonus of this program is that students will learn a little more about the history of the National Thanksgiving Turkey and be able to meet what could potentially be the turkey that is presented to President Obama at the White House.”

In addition to the website, MTGA will use Facebook (www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey) and Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey) to help publicize additional details of the National Thanksgiving Turkey, as available.

If an invitation is extended to Rick Huisinga and his family from the White House, a special send-off in Minnesota for the turkeys will be planned prior to Thanksgiving.

###

About WPC

For over 65 years, Willmar Poultry Company has led the turkey industry in breeding and hatchery technologies. Its Willmar, Minnesota hatchery is the world’s largest and most advanced, and hatches upwards of 160,000 turkey poults a day. WPC and its sister companies employ nearly 1,600 people in five states. WPC has remained family-owned and operated since 1945.

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

Editor’s note:  A schedule of the school presentations in the Twin Cities area will be available soon; if you are interested in further details, please email lara@minnesotaturkey.com.

Turkey To Go: A State Fair Mainstay that’s Expanding Across the Twin Cities!

Contact:                                                                                                      

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association – Ph: 763/682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com

 

(Buffalo, MN) … What do the Minnesota State Fair, Target Field and the Twin Cities mobile food cart scene all have in common?  Turkey To Go – home of the Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich!

Now in its 53rd year, Turkey To Go concession will serve up the tastiest turkey at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair. The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), which owns the concession, also is excited to announce some upgrades to its menu – including a Half-Pound Giant Turkey Sandwich for those with the heartiest of appetites for turkey, and three new optional toppings for the sandwich and the popular turkey drumsticks.  The topping choices include: bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce; brie cheese and cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon and sweet glaze.

“Customers at the Turkey To Go mobile food carts in downtown Minneapolis have raved about the toppings, so we are very pleased to be able offer these delicious options to State Fairgoers as well,” said Steve Olson, Executive Director of the MTGA.

“The toppings pair equally well with the turkey sandwich or the jumbo turkey drumstick, which is even bigger in size this year – averaging a whopping two pounds!” said Drew Levin of Turkey To Go. “And of course, the turkey drumstick will be available in original, sweet glaze and buffalo flavors, as well.”

For the fourth 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 State Fair location and its popular mobile food carts in downtown Minneapolis, Turkey To Go debuted this year at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, and can be found near section

113 on the main level behind home plate.  And this fall, MTGA is excited to announce that two new Turkey To Go storefronts will open on the skyway level in both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. The skyway locations will be in the Baker Building, 706 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, and in the Alliance Bank Center, 56 East Sixth Street, St. Paul.

“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 option at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue is utilized during Minnesota Twins’ home games, and the food cart is also in Uptown Minneapolis on weekend nights. For up-to-date location information, follow Turkey To Go on Twitter (@TurkeyToGo).

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.

– 30 –

10 Fun Facts about Minnesota Turkey and Turkey To Go Concession

Contact:                                                                                                      

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

Ph: 763/682-2171 (office),  612/554-0920 (cell), lara@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 53 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 50,000 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this year.

Turkey To Go has expanded its mobile food cart presence into multiple locations around the Twin Cities. Up-to-date location information 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 113.
  • Uptown Minneapolis – Friday and Saturday nights.

Turkey To Go is opening two new store fronts this fall!

  • 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 Street

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

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.

– 30 –

Minnesota Farmers Offer “Free Groceries for a Year!”

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Contact:                                                                                                      

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association – lara@minnesotaturkey.com or 763/682-2171

 

(Buffalo, MN) … Kent Meschke and John Gorton, turkey farmers from Minnesota, are two of the 13 farmers offering all Minnesota residents a chance to win free groceries for an entire year* and two $1,000 grocery prizes.

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

Gorton is a third generation turkey farmer who raises 500,000 turkeys near Pelican Rapids, MN while Meschke, also a third generation turkey farmer, raises 700,000 turkeys near Little Falls, MN.

Enter to win by visiting the Minnesota Farmers Feed US website, www.farmersfeedus.org/mn.  The site features 13 Minnesota farmers and their families who show how they produce safe, nutritious and affordable food through online tours of their farms. You can also register for the sweepstakes and meet some of the campaign’s featured farmers in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture booth at the Minnesota State Fair, August 25 – September 5.

Consumers can register with each of the 13 featured farmers daily through October 13, the end of the 60-day program.

Minnesota Farmers Feed US coordinator Lisa Reeck says it’s been a popular consumer education campaign here and in eight other states.

“Our featured Minnesota farmers are among more than 60 farmers nationwide participating in the campaign and presenting many different production methods and farm sizes,” said Reeck.  “As consumers take a greater interest in how their food is grown, this campaign offers an important opportunity for farmers to address their questions.”

Over the course of the 60-day campaign, consumers throughout the state will also see and hear from these farmers as they are featured in television advertising and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mnfarmersfeedus) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mnfarmersfeedus).

Minnesota Farmers Feed US is sponsored by several Minnesota agriculture groups including the Broiler and Egg Association of Minnesota, Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion  Council, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Pork Board, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council and GNP Company.

About MTGA

MTGA is a nonprofit trade organization that began in 1939 with a mission to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. The state ranks #1 for turkey production and processing in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers expected to raise approximately 46 million turkeys this year. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey producers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation family farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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

MTGA Announces 2011 Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

 

For immediate release

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

PHOTO – BOB PETERSEN

(Buffalo, MN) … A well-known “turkey specialist” from Belgrade, MN was honored for his many years of service to Minnesota’s turkey industry atthe Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Summer Meeting earlier this month in Red Wing, MN. Bob Petersen, retired from Willmar Poultry Company in Willmar, MN, received the 2011 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 Chairman Gregg Veldman of Novus International made the awards presentation.

Said Veldman, “This year’s recipient was truly a “no brainer” for the MTGA to choose for this award. Bob Petersen is a well-known ‘turkey specialist’ who loved to build strong relationships with turkey farmers in order to understand and best help them with their turkey management.”

Petersen’s background in the turkey industry starts with Brookings State College where he obtained a degree in Bacteriology. Early in his career, he worked for Pfizer, which at the time had a turkey diagnostic lab in Willmar, and he diagnosed turkey diseases.

He left Pfizer for Belgrade Feed Company, where he worked as a serviceman and turkey specialist. In fact, Petersen started a diagnostic lab for the company.  Belgrade Feed was very successful and at the time had a large percentage of the available feed market in Minnesota.

“Bob was a fierce and well respected competitor at the time to Willmar Poultry Company’s Farm Service Elevator (WPC Farm Service Elevator) in Willmar, Minnesota,” said Veldman.

Several years later, after Belgrade Feed Company was sold to Cargill, Petersen was eventually hired by WPC Farm Service Elevator, and within a year of his employment, Petersen had secured most of the available Minnesota feed business for WPC.

Petersen’s role at WPC Farm Service Elevator was to diagnose disease, discuss turkey management strategies with growers and to sell them feed through FSE. He loved to build strong relationships with the growers in order to understand and best help them with their turkey management. He also loved working hands-on with the birds in the barns and at the lab.

In the early 2000s, Petersen partially retired, working part-time with a handful of clients.  He now splits his time between his homes in Belgrade and Arizona.

“Though never a DVM himself, Bob worked very closely with the veterinary community in researching and diagnosing turkey diseases,” said Veldman. “On behalf of MTGA, I am proud to honor Bob Petersen with the 2011 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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 approximately 45 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

###

Turkey To Go Opens at Target Field for 2011 Twins Season

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Contacts:

Drew Levin, Turkey To Go  | (352) 246-8321 |  drewlevin68@gmail.com

Steve Olson, MTGA |  (763) 682-2171  | steve@minnesotaturkey.com

Turkey To Go Opens at Target Field for 2011 Minnesota Twins Season

(March 29, 2011) … Turkey To Go, known for its concession at the Minnesota State Fair, mobile food truck on 8th and Nicollet Mall and full service catering, is pleased to announce the opening of a Turkey To Go concession at Target Field.

“We are really excited about the opportunity to introduce more people to Turkey To Go and to Minnesota’s turkey farmers,” said Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), the organization that owns Turkey To Go concession at the State Fair. “This will be a great venue to provide Twins fans with delicious, high quality Minnesota-grown turkey. It’s really a perfect fit for us and we look forward to joining the Target Field team.”

Target Field’s Turkey To Go concession will be located on the main concourse behind home plate and will exclusively feature Turkey To Go’s famous “Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich,” a slow roasted pulled turkey sandwich piled high on an extra soft bun.

“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase one of many excellent products Turkey To Go offers,” said Danny Perkins of Turkey To Go. “Our Executive Chef, Tim Malloy, features new gourmet concepts regularly at our mobile food truck and handles all catering requests from office meetings to large weddings. You can even rent our food truck for special events.”

This week Turkey To Go re-opened its mobile food truck on Nicollet Mall. The debut of Turkey To Go at Target Field will take place during the home opener, April 8th, as the Minnesota Twins host the Oakland Athletics.  “We are hoping to be serving up turkey sandwiches at Target Field deep into October,” said Drew Levin of Turkey To Go.

About Turkey To Go

Turkey To Go has been serving up turkey since 1959 at the Minnesota State Fair (currently located next to “All-You-Can-Drink-Milk” concession). In 2010 Turkey To Go expanded by launching a mobile food truck (located at South 8th and Nicollet Mall). Turkey To Go also offers full-service catering for office meetings; food-truck rental for special events; and gourmet custom menus for large events. Turkey To Go is owned by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA). You can find more information on Turkey To Go at www.TurkeyToGo.com, as well as on Twitter (@TurkeyToGo) and Facebook, www.facebook.com/turkeytogo.

About MTGA

MTGA is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1939 to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. Minnesota ranks #1 for turkey production and processing in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers  – many of whom are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation family farmers – expected to raise approximately 45 million turkeys this year. For more information on Minnesota’s turkey industry, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.                                  

###