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Thanksgiving Week Kicks Off with Governor Dayton Talking Turkey

 MTGA Announces Donation of $9,000 Toward Turkey Product Purchases to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

St. Paul, MN (November 21, 2016) – Governor Mark Dayton continued the time-honored tradition – dating back to the 1940s – of kicking off Thanksgiving week with the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) at the State Capitol today. Also in special attendance was a tom (male) turkey, raised near Melrose, Minn.

“As we look back on 2016 and compare it to 2015, our farmers are thankful for the success we have had this year after rebounding from the impact of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza,” said MTRPC President Robert Orsten, a turkey breeder farmer from Willmar, Minn. ”Fortunately, 2016 has been influenza free for our flocks, yet we remain diligent in our preparation to protect bird health if the virus should return.”

At the event, Orsten announced the donation of approximately $9,000 to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will go toward the purchase of turkey products to be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.

“We know there are many families who struggle to put food on the table,” said Orsten. “Minnesota’s turkey farmers are committed to helping do their part to combat hunger with our annual donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota.”

Orsten grew up on a turkey farm, and today he and his family have farms in Kandiyohi and Swift counties where they raise 70,000 breeder turkeys and also grow corn, beans, and hay.

Since 2001, MTGA has donated approximately 235 million pounds of turkey to various areas of the state, which will feed 315,000 people in Minnesota. In other words, enough turkey feed Kandiyohi County – where the Orstens raise most of the birds – 7.5 times over!

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

HSM, a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota, will coordinate the purchase and distribution of the turkey. One in five Minnesota families struggles to put healthy meals on their tables. The need for emergency food relief continues to be a problem in Minnesota even as our economy has improved.

“As we prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s important to keep in mind our neighbors who struggle with food insecurity throughout the year,” said Colleen Moriarty, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota. “Hunger Solutions Minnesota connects people in need with resources through the Minnesota Food HelpLine, and supports local food shelves throughout the state. The generosity of groups like the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association has an impact on the families we serve throughout the year.”

Approximately 450 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 46 million birds annually. Minnesota remains steadfast at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.

Current U.S. turkey production stands at 228 million this year – which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 20% of all U.S. turkeys. Approximately 95% of all Americans will eat turkey at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation.

MTGA was founded in 1939. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. and is also home to three successful turkey processing companies – Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar, Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls, and Turkey Valley Farms in Marshall. These companies collectively have created over 2,000 turkey products for the consumer and foodservice markets that are shipped across the country and the world.

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

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2013. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey and Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey).

About Hunger Solutions Minnesota

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

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Minnesota Turkey Releases “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” Video

 

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

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

Knudsen is one of the 450 turkey farmers in the state of Minnesota, and he was thrilled to be able to share his family’s turkey farm on the video. “This is a legacy. If you take care of the birds, the birds will take care of us and the next generation,” Knudsen said.

Minnesota ranks number one in turkey production in the United States, producing around 46 million turkeys per year.

Poultry leads the way in the world’s most advanced farm technology and production techniques. In the video, Knudsen explains how technology is used on his farm – from measuring feed output, temperature of barn and much more. Farmers go to great measures to ensure good health and well-being of their birds to produce a safe product for consumers.

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal this year, be sure to remember that it may be a Minnesota turkey farmer that raised it for you!

Knudsen’s video can be viewed on MinnesotaTurkey.com or YouTube.

Learn more about Minnesota turkey farm families at 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. 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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Minnesota Turkey’s Media Opportunities at the State Fair

 

What:

Interviews with Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Executive Director Steve Olson and audience samples from our Turkey To Go restaurant at the Minnesota State Fair!

When:

Steve Olson is available August 25-28 and again September 3-5.

(Note that audience samples can be made available during all dates of the State Fair; however Steve’s availability for interviews is limited to the dates above.)

What:

We love to talk turkey!

  • Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 58 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 also debuted a new breakfast sandwich last year – the “Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich” that includes our famous Turkey To Go pulled turkey, an egg, slice of American cheese on choice of bun.
  • 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 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers.
  • Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council’s booth in the Dairy Building will feature:
    • A large pictorial display on the history of turkey farming
    • A comprehensive look at how turkey products get to your kitchen table
    • A fun turkey-cutout of a tom (male) and hen (female) turkey for photos
    • Free recipe cards and other brochures

To Schedule:

Please contact Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director, to schedule an interview with Steve and/or audience samples:

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16 Fun Facts: Minnesota Turkey & Turkey To Go Concession

 

  1. Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 58 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.
  1. Our menu:
  • Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($7.25)
  • Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumstick (Original, Sweet Glazed & Buffalo – $8.50)
  • Toppings: bleu cheese & buffalo sauce; brie & cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon & sweet glaze ($2.50)
  • (NEW in 2015) – Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich – Our signature Turkey To Go product, an egg, and slice of American cheese on a bun ($7.25 or add optional turkey bacon and/or croissant at an additional costs)
  1. A portion of every sale goes to Hunger Solutions Minnesota.
  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:
  5. We expect to cook approximately 20,000 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this year for our Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches. From 2011-2015, Turkey To Go sold a total of 236,000 Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches and 52,000 Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks
  1. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.
  1. 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 ($7.25). Fairgoers can also swap the bun for a croissant for an additional $1.00. Turkey bacon can also be added for an additional $1.00.
  1. Turkey To Go also has locations at Target Field and Target Center. 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.
    • Target Center
  1. 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).
  1. 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 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers.
  1. 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.
  1. Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Find us on the Web at TurkeytoGo.com or MinnesotaTurkey.comcom and on social media:

facebook.com/TurkeyToGo and facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey

Twitter: @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey

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MTGA Announces Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

2016 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award | Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

(BUFFALO, MN) – Brad Kelley of Animal Health International was honored for his many years of service to Minnesota’s turkey industry at the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Summer Conference last week in Duluth, Minn. Kelley received the 2016 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.

MTGA Allied Committee Member Errol Lagred of Best Veterinary Solutions, Inc. presented the award to Kelley on Thursday, June 16, as he was surrounded by friends, colleagues and family members.

Kelley started his career in animal health in 1979 at Iowa Vet in Mankato, Minn. where he worked in the warehouse and drove semi-truck for seven years. Kelley continued to excel in his career in animal health and accepted a job in the office as an inside sales person and later on, accepted an outside sales position. Kelley currently works for Animal Health International, in his 37th year of his career in animal health.

“I am honored to present the Allied Lifetime Achievement Award to Brad Kelley. Brad is an exceptional individual with a strong passion for animal health. His outstanding service to the turkey industry has benefited many turkey growers over the years,” said MTGA Allied Committee Member Errol Lagred.

The MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement 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.

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 further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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Photo cutline: Brad Kelley (Animal Health International) and MTGA Allied Committee Chairman Errol Lagred (Best Veterinary Solutions).

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MTGA Announces Unsung Hero Award Recipients

2016 Unsung Heroes Award | Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

University of Minnesota MCROC Staffers in Willmar, Minn. Honored

(BUFFALO, MN) –  Cristian Flores Figueroa and Jeannette Munoz Aguayo – technicians with the University of Minnesota’s MidCentral Outreach Center (MCROC) in Willmar, Minn. – were awarded the inaugural Unsung Heroes Award at the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Summer Conference last week in Duluth, Minn. Cristian and Jeannette were recognized for their development of an early Avian Influenza (AI) detection tool. By sampling the drinking water in turkey barns, this technique is able to pick up the virus two to three days before clinical signs show up in a flock. Cristian and Jeannette’s contributions and research has greatly improved early detection of AI in flocks.

Said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson, “These two scientists were able to take a molecular biology laboratory from a handful of samples per day to hundreds in a very short time. They opened their lab to our industry and have run a plethora of emergency samples at all hours of the day and worked countless weekends. We are grateful for their expertise and many hours of service.”

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 further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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Photo cutline: Jeannette Munoz Aguayo (left) and Cristian Flores Figueroa (middle), technicians at the University of Minnesota MidCentral Outreach Center receive the Unsung Heroes Award from MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson (right).

 

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June Spotlights Summer Grilling with Turkey and National Turkey Lovers’ Day

National Turkey Lovers Day

June is Turkey Lovers’ Month® and Sunday June 19 is National Turkey Lovers’ Day

(Source: National Turkey Federation) May 27, 2016 – Memorial Day weekend previews grilling season and rekindles America’s love of turkey with the smoky flavors of turkey burgers, turkey tenderloin and turkey drumsticks. An increasing number of consumers are enjoying turkey for outdoor grilling, introduced with the first annual National Turkey Lovers’ Day celebrated on Sunday, June 19th, during June is Turkey Lovers’ Month®, as featured in its 27th year by the National Turkey Federation. 

Grilling is easy, convenient and perfect for a weekday meal solution. Turkey – long known as a healthy lean protein – is also a delicious and sometimes overlooked star of the grill. With Fathers’ Day on Sunday the 19th, the family can gift dad a “grill meal” kit with the tools, seasoning ingredients and choice of turkey meat tenderloin, turkey drumstick or ground turkey and turkey franks to showcase his skill at the grill.

Whether dad prefers his time as outdoor chef spent in quiet relaxation or sharing his time-honored grilling techniques with the family, the Turkey Grilling Tip sheet at ServeTurkey.org renews a familiarity for best grilling the many choice cuts of turkey.  Look under the Resources tab to download quick tips on grilling, cooking and lean meat comparisons among turkey portions. A choice offering of grilling recipes is featured with photos, and commentary from chefs and registered dietitians.

Consumers’ enjoyment of turkey has increased to an average of 16 pounds per person, according to USDA. Daily supply of turkey meat continues plentiful after recovery one year ago from losses of three percent of the turkey population from avian influenza. USDA projects this year’s total production about 6 percent higher than 2015 (USDA Economic Research Service Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook of May 16, 2016). 

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EDITORS NOTE: National Turkey Lovers’ Day logo is available for download as eps, jpg, and png files at http://bit.ly/TLDLogos

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MTGA & MTRPC Announces Several Scholarship Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lara Durben (Email | 763-682-2171)

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) recently announced recipients in two scholarship programs.

Evonik Implements Scholarship for HPAI-Impacted Families

Evonik Corporation, a worldwide leader in amino acid production and sales, and long-time Minnesota Turkey Growers Association member, implemented a scholarship program called the Evonik Cares Scholarship designed for children of turkey farmers affected by the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak that hit Minnesotaís turkey industry in the spring of 2015.

The initial idea came from Evonikís Vice President, Pete Hohl, after hearing of all the losses turkey farmers were incurring in Minnesota.  Hohl gave Gregg Veldman, Senior Account Manager and Brian Foshee, North America Sales Manager, the charter to find a way to help families affected by the HPAI outbreak. Veldman and Foshee came up with the idea of a college scholarship, fully knowing the strain that a college education can put on families.

“Minnesotaís turkey farmers and their families experienced the largest foreign animal disease outbreak in U.S. history, creating not only economic hardship for the farms directly impacted by HPAI but also a large emotional toll for all of the families involved,” said Gregg Veldman. “This scholarship program is a way for our company to give back to the turkey industry that is so vital to Minnesota.”

Veldman worked with the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association to develop and distribute the scholarship.

The scholarship was awarded to the following recipients in the amount of $2,5000 each:

Melanie Adrian – a freshman at Ridgewater College, pursuing a degree in Veterinary Technology.  Melanieís parents are Jonathan and Brenda Adrian

Austin Buysse – a sophomore at Dakota Wesleyan University, pursuing a degree in Sports Management with a minor in Communications. Austinís parents are Kevin and Michelle Buysse.

Autumn Orsten – a junior at Bethel University, pursuing a degree in Biokinetics ñ Exercise Science.  Autumnís parents are Robert and Rochelle Orsten.

Andrea Burkel – A sophomore at University of North Dakota, pursuing a degree in Elementary Education.  Andreaís parents are John and Joni Burkel.

Ranelius Scholarship Honors Students

The long-time annual MTGA and MTRPC Ranelius Scholarship focuses on encouraging applicants who are enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution to prepare for a career within the poultry industry.  This year’s scholarship recipients include:

Eden Norton – a senior at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg High School.  Eden plans to attend North Dakota State University in the fall and major in Ag Education with a minor in Animal Science.  Her parents both work for MTGA members, Dooleyís Petroleum and Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Dakota Tjaden –  a senior at Willmar High School.  Dakota plans to attend North Dakota State University in the fall and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering.  His grandfather, uncle, and parents have all worked for Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Hunter Kvistad – a senior at Lakeview Public High School.  Hunter plans to attend Iowa State University and receive of Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  His parents raise turkeys in Woodlake, MN.

Makayla Kuhn –  a senior at Randolph High School.  At this time, Makayla is undecided where she will attend college in the fall, but has been accepted to St. Olaf, Augustana, and Concordia.  She intends on receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  Her grandfather raises turkeys and she currently works at Ferndale Market.

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About MTGA

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 raise 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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Bob Peterson, Willmar, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lara Durben (Email | 763-682-2171)

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) announced its prestigious Ranelius Award in 2016 will go to Bob Peterson, Willmar, Minn. The announcement was made at the MTGA Annual Meeting on March 16 in Saint Paul, Minn. The award will be officially presented to Peterson at the organization’s summer conference, June 14-17 in Duluth.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said MTGA President Gene Brownfield of Redwood Falls, Minn. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Gene Brinton is well deserved of this special honor.”

Peterson spent a long and varied career in the turkey industry, working for such companies Pfizer, Belgrade Feed Company, and finally with Willmar Poultry Company’s Farm Service Elevator. Peterson diagnosed diseases, discussed turkey management strategies with growers, and sold feed.

“He loved to build strong relationships with growers in order to understand and best help them with their turkey management, “ said Brownfield, who has known Peterson nearly his entire career in the turkey industry. “Bob was instrumental in my success and the success of many others, and he has served the industry with integrity.”

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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Minnesota State Fair, Minnesota 4-H Program Honored with Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lara Durben (Email | 763-682-2171)

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored The Minnesota State Fair and the University of Minnesota Extension’s 4-H program with

2016 Turkey Promoters of the Year: UMN Extension Dean Bev Durgan, MN State Fair Executive Director Jerry Hammer, and MN 4-H Program Director Brad Rugg (featured with MTRPC President Robert Orsten, far left).

2016 Turkey Promoters of the Year: UMN Extension Dean Bev Durgan, MN State Fair Executive Director Jerry Hammer, and MN 4-H Program Director Brad Rugg (featured with MTRPC President Robert Orsten, far left).

its 2016 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

The outbreak of hgighly-pathogenic avian influenza in the spring of 2015 created disruptions not only for farmers but for 4-Hers and FFA members raising and showing poultry as part of their projects. When a decision was made to cancel all poultry exhibitions for the immediate future to protect the health of poultry across the state, the Minnesota State Fair and University of Minnesota Extension, and Minnesota 4-H stepped in and worked with MTRPC and others to create a “Science of Poultry” exhibit.

“This exhibit ran during the Minnesota State Fair in the 4-H Poultry Barn,” said MTRPC President Robert Orsten, a turkey farmer from Willmar, Minn. The exhibit included poster boards by 4-Hers, presentations by poultry industry professionals, a “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video, and banners with influenza, biosecurity, and poultry-raising information.

“The efforts of Extension and the Minnesota State Fair successfully made the experience positive for 4-Hers, consumers, and Minnesota’s poultry farmers,” said Orsten. “We are grateful for the support and assistance of these organizations, especially during this very challenging time for our industry.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 16 in Saint Paul, Minn. Representatives in attendance included Dean of Extension Bev Durgan, Minnesota State Fair General MNager Jerry Hammer, and Director of Minnesota 4-H Brad Rugg.

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.