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

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171

E-mail:      ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN)… Turkey farmers Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn., Kent Meschke, Little Falls, Minn., and Phil Munson, Cokato, Minn., 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 organization’s Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on March 19 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Jaenicke and Meschke both served three, three-year terms on the MTGA and MTRPC Board and are past presidents of these two organizations. Munson served one term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards.

“On behalf of MTGA, I thank these three directors for their dedication and leadership to our organization,” said 2014 MTGA President John Zimmerman. “All have made significant contributions to our organization and Minnesota’s turkey industry and their commitment to both MTGA and to our industry has been invaluable.”

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2013. 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)

MTGA Honors Provider Pals Volunteers

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone: (763) 682-2171

E-mail: lara@minnesotaturkey.com

  

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn., Paul and Jamie Kvistad, Wood Lake, Minn., and Michael Langmo, Eden Valley, Minn., for their extraordinary volunteer efforts as part of the Provider Pals program.

These individuals received the President’s Award from outgoing President John Zimmerman, Northfield, Minn. The MTGA President’s Award is given annually to individual(s) chosen specifically for their dedication and commitment to the goals of the organization.

Last year, the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) became a sponsor of the Provider Pals program and these turkey farmers volunteered to be “adopted” by classrooms across Minnesota. Duane Jaenicke was adopted by a 4th grade class at Centennial Lakes in the St. Paul suburb of Lino Lakes.  Mike Langmo was adopted by a 5th grade class in Worthington, and  Paul and Jaimie Kvistad were adopted by Lucy Laney school in north Minneapolis.

Provider Pals seeks to build a common-ground bridge of understanding and respect between urban youth, rural youth, and their natural resource providers. Being adopted meant the volunteers were sharing information not only about their farm but also about their family, hobbies and other interests. The students submitted questions to the volunteers and communication happened between the students and the farmers during the school year. The program culminated with the farmers visiting their schools and presenting about their farm.

Said Zimmerman: “I consider one of the most important goals of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is to educate the public by telling our story of how and why we raise turkeys. Provider Pals enables us to connect with the next generation of policymakers and consumers.  With that in mind, I am happy to recognize Duane, Mike, Paul and Jaimie for stepping up by presenting them with the President’s Award.”

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 19.

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. For more information on Provider Pals, visit www.providerpals.com/.

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2013. 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)

 

Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

News Release

For immediate release

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

Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented its prestigious Ranelius Award to long-time Land ‘O Lakes (now Purina Feeds) employee Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., at its annual meeting

Grant Shold with MTGA President Duane Jaenicke

Grant Shold with MTGA President Duane Jaenicke

on March 13 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said Duane Jaenicke, 2012-13 MTGA President. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Grant Shold is well deserved of this special honor.”

Shold grew up on a farm near Albert City, Iowa, where his family raised cattle, hogs and turkeys. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in poultry science, and afterwards, served four years in the Air Force. Following that, he went to work for Land O’ Lakes as a poultry production specialist, which had responsibility for selling poults (baby turkeys), feed and buying turkeys for Land O’Lakes’ four processing plants.

His 38 years of work with Land O’ Lakes took him to Willmar, Albert Lea and finally Sauk Rapids, Minn., where he worked different positions – all with the focus on turkeys. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked in sales for the Land O’Lakes Purina Feed division and he covers turkey and gamebird feed sales in central and northern Minnesota, North Dakota, southeast Iowa and Central Wisconsin. Shold is planning his retirement this fall.

“Grant knows turkeys and has been a dedicated friend to the turkey industry in the upper Midwest for several decades,” said Jaenicke. “We will miss him and wish him well in his upcoming retirement, and we thank him for the many years of service he has given us.”

Shold served on the MTGA Board of Directors for six years (2007-2013) and has also received the MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Shold and his wife, Donna, have been married 32 years. They have three children and two granddaughters, all of whom live close by.

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 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

              

Photo cutline: 2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, right, with Grant Shold.

Wittenburgs of Alexandria, MN Honored for Extraordinary Efforts

News Release

For immediate release

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

 

Wittenburgs of Alexandria, MN Honored for Extraordinary Efforts on Behalf of the Turkey Industry

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg of Alexandria, MN for their extraordinary efforts to grow and strengthen the North Dakota Poultry Industries

2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, left, with Sharlene and Carl Wittenburg

2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, left, with Sharlene and Carl Wittenburg

Convention, which is held annually in December in Fargo, ND.

The couple received the MTGA President’s Award from outgoing President Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn. The MTGA President’s Award is given annually to individual(s) chosen specifically for their dedication and commitment to the goals of the organization.

“I consider one of the most important goals of the MTGA is to strengthen grower profitability,” said Jaenicke. “This is done by providing growers with relevant information to improve their farms, businesses and ability to raise turkeys. The North Dakota Poultry Industries Convention  meets that criteria in large part because of the leadership and tireless efforts of Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg.”

The North Dakota Poultry Industries Convention attracts a large group of attendees from Minnesota each year to Fargo, and has seen tremendous growth over the past five years.

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 13.

The Wittenburgs raise turkeys and also co-own Protein Alliance, a full-service trading company, which represents Northern Pride Cooperative, Thief River Falls, Minn., in the sales of all their products. The company also works with all of the turkey processors in the country buying and selling all forms of turkey products to domestic and export customers.

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 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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)

MTGA Announces 2013-14 President, Executive Committee

News Release

For immediate release

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

MTGA Announces 2013-14 President, Executive Committee

Officers Hail from Northfield,  Pelican Rapids, Redwood Falls & Roseau

(Buffalo, MN)…John Zimmerman, P & J Products Co., Northfield, Minn., has been elected President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for 2012-2013.

“I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that MTGA will face in the year to come,” said Zimmerman after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting on March 13 in

Saint Paul, Minn. “There are a great variety of businesses in the turkey industry and we don’t all agree on every issue, yet whether you raise a few thousand or several million turkeys, or work in a supporting industry, there are issues that affect us all and that is where associations like MTGA come in. A centralized organization dedicated to the well-being and continued success of our industry helps us achieve our goals.”

2013-14 MTGA Officers: Treasurer Gene Brownfield; Past President Duane Jaenicke; President John Zimmerman; and Vice President John Gorton.

2013-14 MTGA Officers: Treasurer Gene Brownfield; Past President Duane Jaenicke; President John Zimmerman; and Vice President John Gorton.

Zimmerman indicated that the number one goal of Minnesota’s turkey farmers in the coming year will be a return to profitability. “We need to continue to work with the University of Minnesota on relevant and timely research projects, continue to promote a positive image of our operations and animal husbandry practices,  and continue to develop and support  reasonable legislation and regulations that will help us remain competitive,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman runs the family farm – P & J Products, Northfield, MN – along with his mother, Karen Zimmerman. He has been in the turkey industry all his life and P & J Products raise approximately 3-4 million pounds of turkey annually and also raise 500 acres of corn and soybeans.

John graduated from Iowa State University with a BS degree in animal science. He also is a graduate of the Minnesota Agricultural Rural Leadership Program (MARL) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of MARL. In addition, he is board secretary of the River County Co-op. He and his wife, Kara, live in Northfield.

Jaenicke succeeds Duane Jaenicke, who officially steps into the Past President role.  Jaenicke runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The farm raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls, Minn.

The turkey business runs in the Jaenicke family – When he was growing up, Duane remembers the small flocks of turkeys his father raised, and today, Duane’s brother also raises turkeys. Duane began his P & J Farms venture in 1992.

For many years, Duane taught management education courses at Northland Community and Technical College and was named the 2001 Outstanding Ag Educator by the State Association of Management and Ag Educators in Minnesota. He retired from teaching in June 2005. Duane is active in his local church, has served on the church board, and currently is in charge of the cemetery. He and his wife, Bev, have three sons.

The remaining two members of the MTGA / MTRPC Executive Committee are Vice President  John Gorton, Gorton Turkeys Inc., Pelican Rapids, Minn., and Secretary-Treasurer Gene Brownfield, Winter Creek Farms, Redwood Falls, Minn.

John Gorton of Gorton Turkeys has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including 18 active years as an adult – the early years with Jennie-O and later with this father.  Gorton Turkeys raises 360,000 hens, 44,000 consumer toms, 50,000 KBI toms and 50,000 heavy toms annually.

John is currently in starting his third term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors, having served since 2007. He also has been a featured farmer for the Farmers Feed Us program in Minnesota. John, his wife Trudy and family live in Pelican Rapids and have two sons. . He is an active member of the Pelican Rapids Jaycees and volunteers as a Den Leader for Cub Scouts.

Secretary-Treasurer Gene Brownfield currently produces 900,000 hens on farms in Renville and Brown counties. Gene represents MTGA on the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition (MAWRC) and has served on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors since 2008. Gene currently serves as an Elder at Cornerstone Christian Church and is a director in several local and state ministries. He also serves on the Boards and volunteers in community activities. Gene and his wife Janette have two children, Dean, who runs the family farm and Jayne who lives in Waconia. They also follow the activities of three active grandsons.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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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MN Turkey Announces Donation of 1,180 turkeys to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

For immediate release

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

Governor Dayton, Minnesota’s Turkey Farmers Usher in Thanksgiving

MTGA Announces Donation of 11,150 Pounds of Turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

St. Paul, MN (November 20, 2012) – A Minnesota-raised tom turkey and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) paid a visit to Governor Mark Dayton today at the State Capital in Saint Paul. The event was a time-honored tradition, going back more than two decades, of Minnesota’s Governor kicking off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota.

“I want to thank Governor Dayton for inviting us here today and continuing the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving and giving thanks for Minnesota’s turkey farmers, our state’s strong agriculture industry and the abundance of food we provide for the world,” said President and turkey farmer Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn.

At the event, Jaenicke announced the donation of 11,150 pounds of turkey – a total of 1,180 whole birds – to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.

“It’s been a trying and challenging year for many families who are struggling to make ends meet,” Jaenicke. “Minnesota’s turkey farmers want to do their part in combating hunger with this donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota,” said Jaenicke. “The turkey we donate today will feed nearly 13,000 people.”

Jaenicke runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The operation raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative out of Thief River Falls.

Since 2001, MTGA has donated over 190,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state – or enough turkey to feed over 236,000 people. This year, this donation provides turkeys to families in communities such as Cannon Falls, Faribault, Melrose, Willmar, Thief River Falls, Frazee, Perham and Buffalo.

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 Fair and new “likers” to the Minnesota Turkey Facebook page (www.facebook.com/minnesotaturkey).

HSM, a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota, will coordinate the purchase and distribution of the turkey.

According to HSM, there were 3 million visits to food shelves last year in our state. That reflects an increase of 164% over the past decade. Food shelves are an essential part of the safety net that responds to local need-food shelves fill in the meal gap between paid work and nutrition programs. In the last five years alone, hunger has doubled in Minnesota. This has put an immense strain on our emergency response to food insecurity. Long term unemployment has caused previously middle class families to turn to food shelves for answers to their food needs.

Said Colleen Moriarty, HSM Executive Director: “Our food shelves really appreciate this donation of quality protein. Families that visit the food shelves during the holidays will benefit greatly. We continue to look for creative solutions so that no one in Minnesota has to skip meals or eat food that is low in quality. We greatly appreciate the many ways the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association supports our work.”

Approximately 250 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 46 million birds annually, which places Minnesota at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.

U.S. turkey production stands at 246 million – which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 20% of all U.S. turkeys. 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 headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2012. 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 is a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota. We take action to assure food security for all Minnesotans by supporting over 300 agencies that provide food to those in need, advancing sound public policy, and guiding grassroots advocacy. HSM advocates for the maximum use of all federal public nutrition dollars available and works to improve low income Minnesotans’ access to all nutrition programs. The HSM Minnesota Food HelpLine (1-888-711-1151) helps enroll low-income Minnesotans in the Food Support (Food Stamps) program and helps callers find emergency food assistance in their area. For further information, visit www.hungersolutions.org/ , on Twitter @hungersolutions or on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/HungerSolutionsMinnesota

 

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MTGA Announces 2012-13 President, Executive Committee

For immediate release                                               

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

MTGA Announces 2012-13 President, Executive Committee

Officers Hail from Roseau, Northfield and Pelican Rapids

 

(Buffalo, MN)… Duane Jaenicke, P & Turkeys Inc., Roseau, Minn., has been elected President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for 2012-2013.

“I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that MTGA will face in the year to come,” said Jaenicke after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting on March 14 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Jaenicke runs P & J Farms along with his son, Scott. The operation raises approximately 100,000 to 130,000 hens for Northern Pride Cooperative in Thief River Falls, Minn.

The turkey business runs in the Jaenicke family – When he was growing up, Duane remembers the small flocks of turkeys his father raised, and today, Duane’s brother also raises turkeys. Duane began his P & J Farms venture in 1992.

For many years, Duane taught management education courses at Northland Community and Technical College and was named the 2001 Outstanding Ag Educator by the State Association of Management and Ag Educators in Minnesota. He retired from teaching in June 2005. Duane is active in his local church, has served on the church board, and currently is in charge of the cemetery. He and his wife, Bev, have three sons. In his spare time, Duane enjoys fishing and camping.

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

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

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

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

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

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

John is currently in the midst of serving his second term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors, having been elected in 2007 and then re-elected in 2010. He also has been a featured farmer for the Farmers Feed Us program in Minnesota

John, his wife Trudy and family live in Pelican Rapids and have two sons. He is a current Board Member of the City of Pelican Rapids Planning Commission; an organizer of youth football (2008-2009); and a leader for Cub/Boy Scouts (2004-2008).

About MTGA

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

 

 

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