Minnesota Turkey Goes to Washington

Collin Peterson visits with Minnesota Turkey

Congressman Collin Peterson’s office.

Minnesota’s turkey industry had excellent representation at this month’s National Turkey Federation Summer Conference in DC, where the group visited all the Congressional offices of Minnesota and North Dakota as well as several in Wisconsin.

In addition to the “Hill visits”, as they are called, industry leaders heard from keynote speakers Ambassador Gregg Doud of the Office of United States Trade Representative; Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs for USDA, Ted McKinney; and Congressman David Young (R-IA). The Legislative committee meeting also featured a bipartisan discussion between Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Thom Tillis (R-NC). All had great insights to share about moving forward in Washington D.C. and spoke on the need for strong trade policy.

Senator Tina Smith visits with Minnesota Turkey

Meeting with Senator Tina Smith.

Additional Committee meetings allowed members to discuss, social media strategy, consumer understanding of labels, as well as hear from the government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Throughout our time at the conference – and especially in our meetings with all of our Congressional offices, we discussed the following topics:

  • Farm Bill, specifically asking for support for the Animal Disease and Pest Prevention Program and urging both the House and Senate to include the requested baseline funding for this new program over the next five years.
  • Trade specifically related to ongoing issues trying to gain access to China, leaving Mexico (NAFTA) as is, and talking about Canada and India – the latter country being a newer potential market for turkey.
  • Worker availability, which is a major issue for not only the processing plants but for many farms as well.
Senator Amy Klobuchar meets with Minnesota Turkey

Meeting with Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Upon our return to Minnesota, we heard the news that the House – thanks in part to the leadership of Collin Peterson (D-MN) overwhelmingly backed a motion to instruct its conferees on the Farm Bill to insist on mandatory funding for the Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Programs during conference committee negotiations begin with the Senate. The vote came as the House was rejecting the Senate amendments to the Farm Bill and requesting the formation of a conference committee.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) gave strong statements in support of the motion. The Senate is likely to vote late July/early August on moving to conference and naming conferees. The current Farm Bill is set to expire on September 30, 2018.

With regards to trade, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on July 24 announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on what it calls “free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally.”  Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. According to Perdue, these programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets.

Tom Emmer meets with Minnesota Turkey's college students

Students meeting with Congressman Tom Emmer.

Learning Experience for U of MN Students

This year, MTGA was pleased to be able to take four University of Minnesota students / recent graduates to Washington DC with us to participate in the NTF Leadership Conference.

  • Eliza Theis graduated in the spring and will be a first-year veterinary medicine student in September with a strong interest in poultry.
  • Elias Braun will be a senior this fall and hopes to get into veterinary school (hopefully at the University of Minnesota!).
  • Madison Taylor graduated in the spring and currently works full-time at Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls, handling a variety of tasks from live production to marketing.
  • Wyatt Wittenburg will be a junior this fall and has been gaining plenty of work experience this summer on his family’s turkey farm in North Dakota, spending time at Northern Pride Cooperative seeing the processing side of the industry, and working at Protein Alliance to get a feel for the sales/marketing aspects.

The students were fully immersed into the NTF Leadership Conference, attending the general sessions, committee meetings, and networking with industry leaders. They also toured the Capitol building, and participated in all of our Congressional office visits.

“It is MTGA’s hope that exposure to leaders and the turkey industry on a trip like this will encourage these students to consider poultry in their career plans,” said Steve Olson, MTGA Executive Director. “All have a passion for agriculture and are very smart and capable. Our industry would welcome their talents in a variety of ways.”

Prior to the conference start, MTGA staffer Lara Durben brought the group to the poultry research facilities at USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland. The students met poultry researcher Dr. Julie Long and she and her staff gave the group a tour of her facilities and talked at length about the different research projects going on for turkeys, layers, and broiler chickens. It was definitely a highlight for the students.

USDA-ARS Poultry Research Facilities in Beltsville MD

Students with Dr. Julie Long at the USDA-ARS Poultry Research Facilities in Beltsville, MD.

After the students returned to Minnesota, we asked them to provide a brief write-up of their experiences. Here is what they told us:

Eliza Theis:

Thank you so very much for the opportunity to travel to DC with you all once again. It was such an incredible experience and I felt that I gained so much attending the NTF conference for a second time. As a future veterinarian, I can feel confident in diving headfirst into the poultry industry. Meeting leaders from the turkey industry and leaders from within our government was key in fueling my passion for poultry and politics.

Wyatt Wittenburg:

Thank you again for everything you guys did on this educational trip. I really enjoyed the USDA research facility. It was interesting seeing all different types of lines among the turkeys and chickens. My favorite part of the trip was meeting with the congressman/women and senators, and discussing issues the turkey industry is seeing. I hope the MTGA continues to bring students to this conference as they will be able to experience first-hand on how issues like trade, immigration policies and the farm bill are discussed with our representatives. Thank you again!

Elias Braun:

As far as the trip goes I think my biggest takeaway was seeing how willing representatives and senators will willing to meet and talk with their constituents. I always slightly imagined they would be too busy. My favorite part of the trip was probably the USDA Poultry Research tour. It was really interesting as a researcher to see Dr. Julie Long have such a passion for her studies and her birds. It also gave me a fresh perspective on working for the government through science. This trip mainly helped me through the connections I made. It was really enjoyable meeting everybody throughout Minnesota Turkey and the National Turkey Federation. It was good for me to hear about all of their roles in the perspective fields whether it be processing or sales. This trip definitely opened my eyes to possibilities in my future that I was not considering before.



2018 Summer Conference | Learning at Leech Lake

The 79th Annual MTGA Summer Conference took place June 20-22, 2018 in Walker, Minn. at Chase on the Lake Resort. Approximately 120 people attended; taking part in educational sessions, the 5th Annual Turkey Taste Off, fun afternoon activities, the Pub Crawl and of course, socializing with one another.

This year’s educational sessions included an energy panel, implications of tax law changes and an HPAI updates from Dr. Carol Cardona (UMN). Please view the education session videos here. (Log-in and go to “Summer Conference.” Note – this link is for MTGA members only – username/password required.)

Wednesday afternoon started with educational sessions followed by the ever popular, 5th annual Turkey Taste-off! Eight recipes were featured with Turkey Cashew Pasta Salad (recipe submitted by Linda Hedlund) and the Turkey BLT Salad (recipe submitted by Lynn Meschke) taking top honors. Here’s a link to the recipes: http://minnesotaturkey.com/recipes-tips/recipes/.

After the taste-off, members were thoroughly entertained by a hypnotist and the evening concluded with s’mores and a bonfire on the beach.

Thursday morning started early with educational sessions and a choice of the Lake Itasca Boat Cruise, trap shooting or a corn hole tournament for afternoon activities. The reception and banquet were held in the evening where winners of the trap shoot were announced.

1st- Brian McComb

2nd- Brad Rortvedt

3rd- Nick Alt

Tom Bruins was honored with the Allied Lifetime Achievement award.

Be sure to check out the MTGA Angels video brought to you by the MTGA Staffers:

The TURPAC Pub Crawl wrapped up the evening and was well-attended. MTGA members raised $2,600 for TURPAC!

MTGA Lobbyist, Bruce Kleven, and NTF Vice President of Government Affairs, Damon Wells, wrapped up the conference Friday morning with a government affairs update. Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s conference and also to our many sponsors. The weather was fantastic and the company even better!

The 2019 MTGA Summer Conference will be held June 26-28 at Madden’s on Gull Lake, Brainerd, MN. We will celebrate MTGA’s 80th anniversary so mark your calendars now and plan to attend!

Meet an MTGA Member

Meet an MTGA Member | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

In a new ongoing series on the blog, Minnesota Turkey will introduce you to some of our members – while others are farmers or work for turkey companies and/or allied industries. All have a passion for turkey!

Up first is Max Velo with Evelo Farms, who has been actively involved in the turkey industry for 13 years. With a farm in Ottertail County, he raises 400,000 hens per year. Max is married to wife Piper and the couple recently welcomed their first child, a daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys music and reading books.

What’s the latest technology you implemented on your farm?

The latest technology I have implemented on my farm are Stenner pumps.  I use them for managing a consistent water sanitation program.  Clean and sanitized water is one of the most important factors in turkey health.

What’s the best farming advice you ever received?

Farming is tough.  There are so many factors that are out of my direct control that can affect my farm and my results in large ways.  Keeping expectations realistic is very important.  The best farming advice I have ever received would be from two people.  “Know your numbers” from my uncle, and “Plan for the worst but hope for the average” from my father.

Why did you decide to become a Board Director of the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council?

I grew up on the farm and have been doing chores my entire life.  I chose to become a Board Director to meet more people in the industry, get a larger perspective of what turkeys mean to Minnesota, and have a reason to take a day off once in awhile.

Turkey Bedding Tips

Meadowlark Turkey Bedding Tips

How we save on our shavings costs:

  • Turkey bedding can be a big expense for farmers these days. When there is a small margin to make money in this industry, it pushes us to get creative on how we structure our clean outs (turkey bedding) routines. The question is, do you prepare a full clean out for each flock?
  • Here at Meadowlark Turkeys we have designed a schedule on how we address this. Partial clean outs is where we feel we are being the most effective. This is nothing new for us, we have been doing partial clean outs for a long time! In our research, we also see that it has been an active part in our success with raising Antibiotic-Free (ABF)  birds. With partial clean outs we are introducing our birds to healthy bacterias which strengthen their little immune systems.
  • With partial clean outs we will add shavings between flocks. Our brooder barn (where the young turkeys are) will get fresh shavings but for our finishers (for adult birds) we will reuse what is dry, remove what is wet (under waterlines, feedlines, ect) and add in our used brooder barn shavings. Every so often if needed do to weather conditions we will add brand new shavings with the mix of used bedding.
  • This is what works for us here at Meadowlark but we understand for many, this isn’t always feasible. It will depend on your own situation. This has been, however, a very cost effective strategy for us.
  • As for our success in the ABF world, we feel this strategy has helped strengthen the immune systems of our birds as they are exposed to healthy bacterias. Too clean isn’t always good – bacteria in animals as well as humans help strengthen our antibodies to fight disease and illness.

If you have any questions, please feel free to use the comment section or send them to info@minnesotaturkey.com!

Meadowlark Turkey Bedding Tips

Turkeys and DDGs

A note from Minnesota Turkey: this post below was original written by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, one of our allied members.We thought we would share it here and see what you think. If you’re a turkey farmer, do you use DDGs in your turkeys’ diet? Feel free to use the comment section to let us know!

Turkey and DDGs

November was National Turkey Month and in conjunction with that, we take a look at the benefits of DDGS diets for turkeys. Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association

Minnesota is presently the largest turkey producer in the United States and Minnesota’s turkey farmers raise approximately 46 million birds annually.

Meanwhile, DDGS, used as a high-protein animal feed, has been growing in popularity as an alternative to corn and soybean-based animal feed. In 2016, Minnesota produced 3.5 million tons of DDGS.

Dr. Sally Noll with the University of Minnesota, a leading turkey and DDGS researcher, reported that turkeys fed diets with 20 percent DDGS had better gain and similar feed efficiency as compared to turkeys fed the diets without DDGS.

Furthermore she said that DDGS were found to decrease diet cost per ton of feed and to decrease cost per unit of gain in grower hen turkeys. Cost savings from DDGS ranged from 2 to 4 cents per pound of gain during a 2014 trial.

In a different feeding trial, she found that feed/gain ratios tended to increase with DDGS inclusion. And that corn derived DDGS can be an economic source of available phosphorus. In addition she wrote that the use of high levels of both animal byproduct and DDGS could replace a considerable quantity of soybean meal protein.

The U.S. Grains Council states that up to 20 percent DDGS can be included in turkey tom grower or finisher diets. They also noted that when high protein levels are fed, diets containing 15 percent DDGS can improve growth performance. The Council also confirmed that feed conversion improved from 77 to 105 days of age as dietary DDGS level increased.

Additionally, a study by the University of Minnesota and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Zagazig University in Egypt concluded that turkeys fed the DDGS diet were significantly heavier than those fed the corn-soy diet at both the fifth and eight week of age. It was also once again confirmed that the average daily feed intake and feed/gain rates were improved in diets with DDGS.

Finally, the U.S. Grains Council notes that the high energy, mid-protein and high digestible phosphorus content in DDGS make it an attractive partial replacement for some of the more expensive and traditional energy (corn), protein (soybean) and phosphorus (mono-or dicalcium phosphate) used in animals feeds.

Source: Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association

Tasty Turkey Meatballs

Tasty Turkey Meatballs via MinnesotaTurkey.com
I thought I would share this very quick and easy recipe I use for Christmas — it’s healthy, lean, and delicious … the perfect turkey meatballs! I can tell you this is one of our family favorites. EVERYBODY raves about this one!
I have finally tweaked this recipe to create a similar texture to ground beef (which many of you are probably used to using). Ground turkey is going to give you lots of high quality  and lean protein! You won’t have to worry as much about your waistline when eating this delicious and healthy recipe. Give this recipe a try and please let me know what you think of it! Your input is greatly appreciated :)
From Meadowlark Farms, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018!
Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 small to medium onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  •  2-3 garlic cloves (freshly minced)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • Himalayan Salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together; use ice cream scoop to put meatballs onto baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and the turkey registers 165 degrees F. on a meat thermometer.
Healthy BBQ Sauce
  •  1 (15 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Molasses
  • 3 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 4 Pinches Red Cayenne Pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sauce pan over medium-high until mixture reaches a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to cook until it has reduced and thickened a bit (about 25 minutes). Serve with turkey meatballs immediately. Or set aside to cool for 15 minutes and store sauce in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Why Do We Overproduce in Agriculture? (In Other Words, Eat More Turkey!)

It doesn’t matter what segment of agriculture you are in, or even life in general, when things are going good for us, we tend to want more.  It is just simple human nature.  It doesn’t matter if you raise livestock or sell houses; in general, we seem to always be looking for more.  How to cut costs, how to increase efficiencies, how to market products better; all in order to maximize our profits.  I am not saying this is a bad thing, I am just making a very large generalization that, in our society, we tend to measure success by how much stuff we have including, but not limited to, money.

Can we do what we enjoy doing, cash flow and have a little left over to live on? This is the goal of writing any business plan or business start-up.  There are many levels to this statement based on how large or small the business, whether it is privately or publicly owned and so on and so forth but either way businesses still should be profitable long term.

This is the main reason agriculture overproduces. I think agriculture, and even more specifically animal agriculture, the difference between the good and bad years are so drastic that farmers find themselves ramping up production over a couple of years, to the point of overproducing in the good times, in order to make it through the bad. Again, the human nature thing takes over. Add to this the fact that as processors see the opportunity to make profits, they are quick to agree to, or even ask, producers to increase volume.  Also, many processors are also producers so then there is the ability to make it on both the growing and marketing ends of the spectrum.

As we look to the end of 2017 and 2018, I’m not going to sugarcoat it – the outlook is a little grim in the turkey industry. We are coming off a couple years of pretty good profitability, some better than others but overall, good times. As an industry we increased how many pounds we produced in 2016 and year to date in 2017 compared with to the prior 3 year average and projections through year end seem to stay heading in this same direction.  The “MORE is better”, human nature thing again.

Unfortunately, we are now past the point that our supply of turkey is getting larger than the demand.  Also, other meat industries have also increase their production over the same time so the added supply of all meat proteins is pulling down the value for all producers since it is fairly easy to substitute any animal protein into meals. Because of this, it is easy for shoppers in a grocery store to buy whatever is the cheapest meat to make for their families. This isn’t a big deal for us who raise the animals; my wife and I tend to do the same thing when we are shopping. The problem comes when the price wholesale purchasers and retail consumers are willing to pay is less than the cost to produce, process and market it.  This seems to be where we are or will be heading in the very near future in the turkey industry.

There are many factors that might affect this supply and demand problem going forward but the easiest and simplest way is for the demand to increase in the U.S. and/or export markets. Simply said, please add a little more turkey meats to your normal meal plans whether at home or at a restaurant. And while you’re stocking up for the Thanksgiving meal, take advantage of the supermarket sales and add a second or even third turkey to your cart and then stick these in your freezer at home for use this winter. All of us in the turkey industry would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to post them here or head over to Minnesota Turkey’s Facebook page and share your thoughts.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s Cookin’ over at the Meadowlark Turkey Homestead? (Instant Pot Recipe!)

Serving Turkey

Hey there! I wanted to do a special post about how our meals look like back at home. ’Tis the season for comfort food as temperatures start to dip. As you already know – we’re turkey farmers so we tend to eat a lot of turkey. Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to share some of my tips and secrets on how to make your juiciest turkey yet! And I’d also like to share with you on why Turkey nutritionally has so much to offer.

Why Eat More Turkey?

Outside the turkey farm I am also a health and fitness coach – I dig deep into which foods give me the most nutrition. As you’ve probably seen, protein has been all over every fitness headline. Protein gets a lot of credit for helping us stay trim and maintaining a healthy weight. Protein repairs the many tears we make after we’ve lifted weights, went for a run, or endured any physical activity. You know that feeling of when you have sore muscles the day after? Your muscles are repairing those tears and need the protein to help heal that process. Protein is muscle food. Why is turkey a great option to include into your regular diet? Turkey offers a high protein content without the excess trans fat like other meat options might offer. White meat is the leanest choice, but even dark meat can be a good choice if you skip the skin. Turkey gives you about 25 grams of high-quality protein, along with B vitamins and selenium.

Turkey Breast is our favorite kind of protein here at Meadowlark Turkeys!

While turkey may be the leanest protein around, turkey breast consumption is usually unfairly confined to Thanksgiving and deli meats. It doesn’t need to be this way! Jennie-O Turkey Store Roasted Turkey Breasts are often readily available in supermarkets alongside rotisserie chickens, making them a simple and fast source of high quality lean protein. Protein (3 oz.): 26 grams.

Here is a great starter turkey breast recipe:

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish


2 cups (2 large breasts) of cut-up turkey breast

1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 cups carrots OR sweet potatoes

1 1/2 cup cooked wild and brown rice medley

1 1/2-2 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

Pepper to taste


I typically brine the fresh turkey breasts for 24-48 hours; however you can easily use turkey breast from the grocer.

Cube your turkey and set aside. While you’re chopping your onion and carrots, set your instant pot to “Saute’” and pour 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, then add your veggies.

Let the onions and carrots simmer for a good 10 minutes. Add your turkey and seasonings, saute for another couple minutes. Then close the lid and seal your pot, press manual for 3 minutes. After this time, you can then add your pre-cooked wild rice medley, saute all ingredients together. It’s a quick and very healthy dish that kids and adults will both appreciate!

Pressure cooker recipes always leave out the details so here’s a breakdown of what you can expect time-wise: About 13 minutes to come to pressure plus 3 minutes cook time and 5 or so to release pressure. You won’t need to be anywhere near your kitchen for this all to partake, the Instant Pot will handle it all! So fabulous, right?

Another great addition to this meal with be sweet root vegetables! Sweet root vegetables (i.e. sweet potatoes, buttercup squash, or butternut squash) are affordable and in season this time of year. I have so many favorites from sweet potatoes to buttercup squash. And turkey is a great protein that blends perfectly with these nutrient dense veggies, too.

If you haven’t tried a recipe like this, I highly encourage you to give it a shot. Let me know what you think!


Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Instant Pot Turkey Breast and Wild Rice Hotdish via MinnesotaTurkey.com

Our Farm Family Moments

Biosecurity is a way of life on our farms.  It is never far from our thought process.

We have come to realize that operational biosecurity is about awareness and action. Awareness of how our actions or inactions may impact flock health. We must have awareness to our clothing, to our footwear, to our vehicles and farm equipment. We have awareness of how close anything gets to the barn and what enters the barn. We have awareness of just how much wildlife, both winged and footed, are around the farms. Our mindset is one of – how does what we do lessen the potential of virus introduction onto the farm and into the flocks in our day to day work on the farm?  We weave biosecurity into each day, teaching it to the next generation, in hopes that for them it will be second nature.

Fact: Biosecurity is now a way of life on the farm and has changed many things about how we do our day to day work. However, we feel strongly that the practice of biosecurity will not stop our family from being close to and enjoying our flocks. We encourage the grandchildren to be involved in taking care of the farm. It is through their hands-on involvement with the farm and livestock that they learn practical skills and responsibility. We believe that it is in the moments of working with and caring for living things when the love of farming takes roots and lasts a lifetime.

We hope you enjoy some of our farm family moments.

Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

The Gessell Family. Our children grew up on our turkey farm. They all continue to love the farm and enjoy bringing their children home to the farm. Samantha and JonPaul are now in partnership with us raising turkeys. (Photo, from left: Nick and Marissa with Piper, JonPaul and Samantha with Lawrence and Lillian and Austin.)

Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

Here is Grandpa John with daughter Samantha and grandchildren Lawrence and Lillian taking a moment to watch the birds that were just moved into the finishing barn.

Here is Grandpa John with daughter Samantha and grandchildren Lawrence and Lillian taking a moment to watch the birds that were just moved into the finishing barn.

Lawrence just can’t get enough!

Here is Grandpa John with daughter Samantha and grandchildren Lawrence and Lillian taking a moment to watch the birds that were just moved into the finishing barn.

Neither can little Lillian!

Lawrence is  taking instruction from his dad on how to use the feed scoops to feed baby turkeys.

Some skills take practice to master – including feeding the birds!

Cousin Piper comes home to help.


On the hunt in the haystack to see if momma kitty had her babies!

Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

When Cousin Piper comes to see Lawrence, they just have to take a spin around the farm.


Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

Back to work.  Lawrence is in the shop learning to use the vice.


Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

Here are Lillian and Lawrence again, check out the flock!

Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

Oh boy, a sewer clog!  Call the pumper truck.

Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

Here is JonPaul enjoying a ride on the lawn tractor with his hands and his heart full!

Our Farm Family Moments | via MinnesotaTurkey.com/wingtips

Our little Viking Granddaughter Lillian enjoying a turkey drumstick.

Our family wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day surrounded by the ones you love!

Lynette and John








Veggie Fed Turkeys

Veggie Fed Turkeys via Minnesotaturkey.com

“Do you like that Veggie Feed?”

We’ve been asked many times from consumers and other farmers, “How do you like raising vegetable fed birds?” We’ve heard other farmers not having luck, and they like conventional feed provided. We’ve also been asked, “Do the birds like the feed?”, “What differences have you seen since swapping out conventional feed over to vegetable feed?” We’re happy to say, our birds have adapted well and we think our birds like vegetable feed better. Their guts seem tighter (meaning, their stool isn’t as loose). They seem to be more active, running around more, the litter is drier, and the air quality has improved.

Some have asked, “Do your birds take longer to grow to their optimal weight?” Answer is: Yes. Yes, they take an average of an extra 4-7 days longer to reach their optimal weight.

“Are your feed costs higher?” Yes, our feed costs are just a bit higher however, feed conversion is the same.

Priding ourselves in the ABF market (never treated with antibiotics) we also know the vegetable feed given to our birds has been a major factor in the meat quality. We have to butcher a few turkeys each flock before they go to market. The reason we need to do this is to collect fat and blood sampling so all is approved before selling our birds to consumers. After we collect these samples we then harvest the meat off the bird (as you can imagine, we get to eat lots of turkey!) One major improvement we’ve noticed since converting over to vegetable fed turkey is that we feel the meat/breasts are juicy and much more tender! (Read below for our quick turkey breast recipe).

As we’re in this farming business wholeheartedly, going back to the basics is what we BELIEVE in. Farming in this fashion suits us. We enjoy feeding our turkeys vegetable based feed as we’ve seen many more positives after implementing this farming concept. I thoroughly enjoy talking to other farmers and understanding what works and what doesn’t work – and every farm is a different. “We,” as turkey farmers stick together and take lots of pride in what we do – and we learn from each other.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions below. After all we’re all learning this together, I believe the more we can learn from each other the better we can suit our consumers and industry as a whole. Thanks for taking the time; have a nice day!

Instant Pot Turkey Breasts

Boneless Turkey Breasts in the Instant Pot

  • 1 boneless turkey breast or turkey tenderloin (equivalent to about the same size as a chicken breast)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or garlic infused oil
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Cover breast(s) with oil and rub in the seasoned salt.

Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth.

Insert trivet into the pot and place breasts on it.

Place lid on the pot and set vent to SEALING.

Select MANUAL and use the +/- buttons to change time to 4-5 minutes.

When pressure cycle is over, let the pressure release naturally.

Open pot and enjoy your juicy, flavorful turkey!