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

What:

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

Who:

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

When:

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

What:

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

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

Fun Facts:

4-H

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

Presidential Turkey

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

Turkey Farming

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

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA)

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

National Turkey Federation (NTF)

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

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

Contact:                                                                                            

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council

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

ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

  1. Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 59 years (since 1958). Our State Fair concession stand, Turkey To Go, is known for its signature Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich and Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks.
  2. We’re offering TWO new products this year at Turkey To Go – meaty, juicy, mouth-watering Turkey Ribs and Turkey to Go by the Pound (frozen and ready to take home)!
  3. Our menu:
  • Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($7.75)
  • NEW in 2017 Turkey Ribs ($7.75) – Flavors include original, sweet glazed, or buffalo
  • Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumstick (Original, Sweet Glazed & Buffalo – $8.75)
  • NEW in 2017 Turkey by the Pound – Frozen Turkey To Go product that you can take home with you! ($16.75 per pound)
  • Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich – Our signature Turkey To Go product, an egg, and slice of American cheese on a bun ($7.75 or add optional turkey bacon for an additional $1.00)
  • Toppings: bleu cheese & buffalo sauce; brie & cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon & sweet glaze ($2.50)
  1. A portion of every sale goes to Hunger Solutions Minnesota. Since 2008, TTG has donated over $58,000.
  2. Turkey To Go is located next to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand (1256 Clough Street).
  3. Turkey To Go was named the People’s Choice Award for “Best Food or Beverage” at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair!
  4. Turkey to Go by the numbers:
  • We expect to cook approximately 39,500 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this.
  • From 2011-2016, Turkey To Go sold a total of 281,309 Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches and 64,026 Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks!
  1. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.
  2. Don’t forget about our breakfast sandwich, which debuted in 2015 – the “Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich” that includes our famous Turkey To Go pulled turkey, an egg, slice of American cheese on choice of bun Turkey bacon can also be added for an additional $1.00.
  3. Turkey To Go also has locations at Target Field. Up-to-date location information can be found at twitter.com/turkeytogo or visit www.turkeytogo.com for details.
    • Target Field – Turkey To Go is behind home plate between sections 112 and 113 as well as outside Section 318.
  4. Turkeys raised in the U.S. are free of added hormones and steroids. In fact, there are no hormones or steroids approved for use in turkey production in the U.S. (and there hasn’t been since the 1950s) and they aren’t needed.
  5. Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 450 turkey farmers who raise approximately 46 million turkeys annually on 600 farms. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of our turkey producers are 4th, 5th, and 6th generation farmers.
  6. MTGA was formed in 1939 as a nonprofit trade association dedicated to fostering a successful turkey industry. Today MTGA and its sister organization, Minnesota Turkey Research Promotion Council work on behalf of Minnesota’s turkey industry in the areas of research, promotion, public relations, issues management, education and government affairs.
  7. Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat.
  8. MTGA’s Web site – minnesotaturkey.com – features links to turkey recipes for consumers and the foodservice industry. We also have recipes at our State Fair booth in the Dairy Building.
  9. Producing a quality, nutritious and safe product is the top priority for turkey farmers as well as turkey processing companies, which follow USDA guidelines for food safety. Consumers, too, need to do their part to ensure that turkey is handled properly in the kitchen and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., as measured by a food thermometer.

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

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

Twitter – @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

Pinterest – pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey

Instagram – @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

 

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Turkey To Go Debuts Turkey Ribs at the Minnesota State Fair

Contact:                                                                                            

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Turkey To Go

Turkey To Go concession at the Minnesota State Fair is located at 1256 Clough Avenue, next door to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand. Turkey To Go is owned by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, which has had a food stand at the Minnesota State Fair since 1958.

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

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

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

About Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA)

MTGA is a nonprofit trade organization that began in 1939 with a mission to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. The state ranks #1 for turkey production and processing in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey producers are 4rd, 5th and even 6th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey.  You can also find Minnesota Turkey on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey), and Instagram (@MinnesotaTurkey).

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

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MTGA Announces 2017 Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

For Immediate Release (6/30/17)

Contact: Lara Durben

Communications & Assistant Executive Director

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

(763) 682-2171  |  ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com]

 

 (BUFFALO, MN) – The late Dr. Marshall Kim Brinton was honored at the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) annual Summer Conference, which was held in Breezy Point, Minnesota, June 21-23 2017. The 2017 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Brinton in honor of his contributions and service to the poultry industry throughout his lifetime.

MTGA Allied Committee member Doug Dorn of AgCountry Farm Credit Services presented the award to Brinton’s father, Gene, Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the annual reception.

Brinton was born February 26, 1954 in Story City, Iowa to Gene and Nola Brinton. He attended school in Ellsworth and South Hamilton, Iowa, and graduated from Willmar High School in 1972 after the family moved to Eagle Lake in 1968. He later attended the University of Minnesota and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1983.

Brinton worked at a veterinary clinic in Roswell, New Mexico for a short time after receiving his degree. He later returned to St. Paul and the University of Minnesota in 1985 to pursue his PhD in Avian Microbiology. Brinton joined his family at Brinton Veterinary Solutions as staff veterinarian in 1987.

His first major success in the poultry industry was developing a vaccine for Pasteurella anatipestifer, an economically devastating turkey disease at that time.  In the ensuing years, he developed and patented several vaccines and toxoids to improve flock and herd health and reduce the need for antibiotics in both poultry and swine. He founded the Poultry Veterinary Center in 1994 and retired in 2010 due to health issues.

Dr. Marshall Kim Brinton, 62, died Friday, December 2, 2016 at his home in Miami Beach, Florida.

“Kim is missed by Minnesota’s turkey industry and his contributions have made a lasting effect on the success of so many,” said Dorn. “It is my honor and privilege to present this award to the Brinton family.”

The MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award is based on several criteria:

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

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located 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 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 45 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For more information on MTGA, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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Minnesota Turkey Joins Ag Organizations, Rural Counties to Call for Delay of State Water Buffer Law

Contact: Brent Renneke
Public Relations Manager, Minnesota Corn Growers Association brenneke@mncorn.org
701-741-7292

AG ORGANIZATIONS AND RURAL COUNTIES CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS AND DELAY OF STATE WATER BUFFER LAW

SHAKOPEE, MN (May 11, 2017) ….. Eighteen Minnesota farm and agricultural organizations and several local government officials representing rural counties signed onto a joint letter to Governor Dayton and legislative leaders urgently requesting they make needed modifications to the water buffer law and delay its implementation date to give local governments and farmers enough time to comply.

The letter was led by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and signees include the Minnesota Farmers Union; Minnesota Farm Bureau; various grain, livestock and poultry commodity organizations; cooperatives; and various county commissioners, who will be involved in implementing the law.

“We are not asking for a repeal of the water buffer law, but we must face the fact it is not ready for implementation this year,” said Harold Wolle, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and lead author of the letter. “Various officials have acknowledged that the implementation of the buffer law, passed by the Legislature in 2015, would be complicated, and this reality has been validated by the significant delays in developing buffer guidelines and the resulting confusion that now exists throughout the state among farmers and local government officials.”

Despite the fact the buffer law was passed in 2015, implementation guidelines have been slow in coming out and this is causing concern among local government officials as well as farmers. Farmers are now in their fields with spring planting, beginning the busy cycle of their farm operations through the fall harvest. This leaves little time to try and get into compliance by November 1st, especially when it has not been clear as to what constitutes “compliance.”

As an example, it has taken almost two years to identify approved alternative practices, which were only released last month. In addition, there is confusion over the classification of private vs. public ditches, insufficient funding for county boards and watershed districts to assist with local implementation and lack of suitable compensation for removing farmland out of production. “The taking of productive farmland without some compensation and/or tax relief is especially troubling at a time when farmers are experiencing multiple years of low prices and financial stress,” said Wolle.

The letter goes on to state that if the Governor and Legislature cannot agree to needed changes of the buffer law prior to legislative adjournment, the implementation of the buffer law must be delayed to give enough time to work out the modifications and equip local government officials and farmers with the information and tools needed to effectively comply with the law.

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Keith Burger, Turkey Valley Farms, Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) is proud to announce its prestigious Ranelius Award in 2017 goes to Keith Burger, Turkey Valley Farms, Marshall, Minn. The announcement was made at the MTGA Annual Meeting on March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said incoming MTGA President Chris Huisinga, Willmar, Minn. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Keith Burger is well deserved of this special honor.”

This year’s recipient has a long and productive career in the poultry industry, which started in 1969 and continued with stints at Wayne Poultry (which became Iowa Turkey Products), Cargill and most recently Turkey Valley Farms.

Burger oversaw reconstruction of the Marshall, Minn., plant and served as its general manager until he announced his retirement at the end of 2016 – although truth be told he has remained active with Turkey Valley Farms, helping with the transition of the new plant management team.

Burger also has been involved with implementing and writing of new procedures in the industry, attending many National Turkey Federation Tech & Regulation meetings in Washington DC, as well as attending seminars to expand his knowledge of the world of turkeys.

Keith and his wife, Mary, have 3 married children and 2 grandchildren

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

 

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Turkey Farmers Honored with Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored three turkey farmers with its 2017 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

Scott Heymer, Princeton, Minn., Wayne Knudsen, New London, Minn., and Paul Kvistad, Wood Lake, Minn. were given the award for their farm advocacy efforts on behalf of the MTGA.

Both Heymer and Knudsen opened up their farms for two “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video projects for Minnesota Turkey. Kvistad worked with Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom to conduct MTGA’s first ever virtual farm tour last November.

“Putting yourself in front of an audience you can’t see takes a leap of faith,” said MTGA and MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson. “We are grateful that we have farmers like Scott, Wayne, and Paul who are willing to share their farm stories to a larger audience – many of whom are far removed from the farm and food production.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 15 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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About MTRPC

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

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Individuals Honored for Extraordinary Efforts

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Presidents of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) have chosen to honor three worthy individuals for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of Minnesota’s turkey farmers in 2016,

MTGA President Gene Brownfield of Redwood Falls, Minn., presented his 2016 President’s Award to Warren Formo, executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Waters Resource Center (MAWRC).

The MAWRC provides a voice for farmers on issues ranging from manure management to water appropriations to buffers, and serves as a resource to help the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association add water quality science to their advocacy efforts. Founded in 2008, MTGA is a charter member of this organization.

MTRPC President Robert Orsten of Wilmar, Minn., presented his 2016 President’s Award to two individuals:

  • Carol Cardona, University of Minnesota, for developing an important testing tool used during and after the 2015 highly-pathogenic avian influenza outbreak that helps the industry assess the health status of a flock before moving birds to market.
  • Dale Lauer, Minnesota Board of Animal Health, for overseeing the much-needed expansion of the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory; keeping Minnesota’s avian influenza response plan updated; and strengthening the state’s incident command structure to respond better to any future avian influenza outbreaks.

The MTGA and MTRPC President’s Awards are given annually to individual(s) chosen specifically for their dedication and commitment to the goals of the organization.

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 15.

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

About MTRPC

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

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

 

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Outgoing MTGA & MTRPC Board Directors

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN)… Turkey farmers Gene Brownfield of Redwood Falls and Robert Orsten of Willmar along with Errol Lagred of Best Veterinary Solutions, Willmar, were honored by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for their many years of service to the organizations’ Boards of Directors at its Annual Meeting on March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Brownfield and Orsten both served nine years total for the two organizations and are past presidents of MTGA and MTRPC, respectively. Lagred served six years as an Allied Member Representative on the MTGA Board of Directors.

“On behalf of MTGA, I thank these three directors for their dedication and leadership to our organization,” said incoming MTRPC President Kim Halvorson. “They have made significant contributions to our organization and Minnesota’s turkey industry and their commitment to MTGA, MTRPC, and to our industry has been invaluable. They will be missed on the Board.”

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

 

About MTRPC

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

 

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

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MTGA and MTRPC Announce 2017-18 Officers

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN)… The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) announce the following slates of officers for 2017-2018:

MINNESOTA TURKEY RESEARCH & PROMOTION COUNCIL

President – Kim Halvorson, Halvorson Farms, Morristown

Vice President – Chris Huisinga, AgForte, Willmar

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

MINNESOTA TURKEY GROWERS ASSOCIATION

President – Chris Huisinga, AgForte, Willmar

Vice President – Scott Christensen, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar

Secretary-Treasurer – Paul Kvistad, Kvistad Poultry, Wood Lake

Officers were officially announced at the annual meetings of the MTGA and MTRPC, held March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

MTRPC Officer Bios:

MTRPC President Kim Halvorson of Morristown, MN owns and operates Halvorson Farms. She has been a turkey farmer for 26 years and raises approximately 100,000 heavy toms/year (about 3.2 million pounds/year) annually in Rice County.

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

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

MTRPC President Chris Huisinga is the General Sales Manager for Ag Forte. Ag Forte (the flagship brand for Willmar Poultry/Life-Science Innovations) is the largest supplier of day old turkey poults in the world annually selling 100 million turkeys globally.

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

Chris has a BA in Business from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) and a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (Florida). Chris, his wife Joi, and his two children Ethan (13) and Ella (11) live in Willmar, MN.

MTRPC Secretary-Treasurer Max Velo has been actively involved in the turkey industry for 12 years. With a farm in Ottertail County, he raises 400,000 hens per year. Max is particularly interested in domestic and international turkey markets, as well as animal health.

Max’s family consists of Piper, Daryl, Kelsey, Alanna and Nita.

MTGA Officer Bios:

President Chris Huisinga is the General Sales Manager for Ag Forte. Ag Forte (the flagship brand for Willmar Poultry/Life-Science Innovations) is the largest supplier of day old turkey poults in the world annually selling 100 million turkeys globally. 

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

Chris has a BA in Business from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) and a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (Florida). Chris, his wife Joi, and his two children Ethan (13) and Ella (11) live in Willmar, MN.

MTGA Vice President 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 35 years in the food industry, with 12 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. Scott and his wife, Cheri, have three daughters – Carrisa, Tess and Jenna.

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

Currently Paul is serving on the Education/Workforce Committee for MTGA and has been on the board of the Yellow Medicine County Corn Growers for 15 years. He served as a past member/president for the Echo Lions Club for 12 years and a past board member for the Farmers Co-op Elevator for 9 years. In addition, he continues to usher at Swan Lake Church.

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

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

About MTRPC

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

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

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