Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’

MTGA Announces 2014-15 President, Executive Committee

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171

E-mail:      ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

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

(Buffalo, MN)… John Gorton, Gorton Turkeys, Pelican Rapids, Minn., has been elected President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) for 2014-15.

“2014 is our 75th anniversary of MTGA as an organization. In order to create our future, we will need to continue to identify opportunities and meet challenges head on,” said Gorton after officially being handed the presidential gavel at the MTRPC-MTGA Annual Meeting on March 19 in Saint Paul, Minn. “The most effective way to do that is to continue our model of industry cooperation and partnerships with other agriculture organizations, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.”

Gorton has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including 19 active years as an adult – the early years with Jennie-O Turkey and later with this father.  Gorton Turkeys raises over 500,000 turkeys (a combination of both hens and toms) annually.

John is currently serving his third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards. 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.

Gorton succeeds John Zimmerman, who officially steps into the Past President role. 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, who is serving his third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards,  graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science. He also is a graduate of the Minnesota Agricultural Rural Leadership Program (MARL) and spent several years serving 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.

The remaining two members of the MTGA / MTRPC Executive Committee are Vice President  Gene Brownfield, Winter Creek Farms, Redwood Falls, Minn., and Treasurer Robert Orsten, Orsten Turkeys of Willmar, Minn.

Secretary-Treasurer Gene Brownfield  currently raises hens on farms in Renville and Brown counties. Gene is serving his third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards and also represents MTGA on the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition (MAWRC).

Gene currently serves as an Elder at Cornerstone Christian Church and is a director in several local and state ministries. He also serves on several 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. Gene’s hobbies include fishing and relaxing at the lake cabin.

Treasurer Robert Orsten has worked 23 years in the turkey industry. With farms in Kandiyohi and Swift counties, his family raises 70,000 breeder turkeys and also grows corn, beans and hay. He is serving his third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards.

Robert served on the school board for Community Christian School eight years; four years as secretary and four years as president. He is currently a township supervisor, elected in 2008. He and his wife, Rochelle, have five children: Talia, Autumn, RJ, Brady and James. His hobbies include boating, camping, spending time with family and friends, raising Hereford cattle and his kids’ sporting events.

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).

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Photo cutline:  From left, Treasurer Robert Orsten, Past President John Zimmerman and President John Gorton; not pictured is Vice President Gene Brownfield.

Gene Brinton, Willmar, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171

E-mail:      ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented its prestigious Ranelius Award Gene Brinton, Willmar, Minn., at its annual meeting on March 19 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said John Zimmerman, 2013-14 MTGA President. “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.”

Gene is originally from Ellsworth, Iowa, where he was raised on the family farm that he still owns today.  His lifelong involvement with the care and management of turkeys began as a young boy in the 1940s while helping his father and his brothers raise turkeys on their farms.

Gene’s career has always been dedicated to the turkey industry. His first job after getting married was working for Don “Chick” Thoreson at the Ellsworth Turkey Hatchery and from there Gene moved on to work for turkey nutrition based companies while also raising turkeys as an independent grower.  Several years later, Gene was given the opportunity to join Farmland CO-OP as a turkey health and nutrition specialist and remained with Farmland until the late 60s when he moved his family from Ellsworth, Iowa to Willmar, Minnesota to become a sales representative for the I.D. Russell Company.

In the late 1970s, Gene decided it was time to pursue his lifelong dream to have his own company and in 1980 founded Brinton Veterinary Supply, Inc. (BVS), a veterinary supply company specializing in turkey health and husbandry products.  Over the next several years Gene expanded the company to include nutrition consulting, a federally licensed veterinary vaccine production laboratory (Brinton Laboratories), and a diagnostic laboratory (Brinton Veterinary Services later known as Poultry Veterinary Centers).

Through the years, Gene has always been dedicated to developing effective quality health products for the turkey industry and received a patent for a product that reduces diarrhea in turkeys, acquired federal licenses for vaccine products, and also established multiple trademark turkey health products.

Gene continued to successfully lead Brinton Veterinary Supply until his retirement in 2001 when BVS was renamed Best Veterinary Solutions and was purchased by Wes Thoreson and Randy Olsen who continue to offer quality health and husbandry products to the turkey industry.

Although retired, Gene continues to be active in the turkey grower community and enjoys participating in associated golf outings and attending the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention each year, but most of all he enjoys seeing the many friends he has made over the years. Gene and his wife Nola have been married for 62 years and have two children, Jackie Brinton Mourning and Dr.  M. Kim Brinton, both of whom have worked alongside Gene in the turkey industry.

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.

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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)

Badger Family Receives Turkey Promoter of the Year

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171

E-mail:      ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 (Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored John and Joni Burkel and their five children with its 2014 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

Burkel continued a long-standing tradition when he stepped into the role of the National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman in 2013 – making him the 11th Minnesotan to serve in this prestigious role. As part of that role, Burkel and his family set about to raise the National Thanksgiving Turkey that would get pardoned by President Obama prior to Thanksgiving in November 2013.

“John and his family raised the bar for future Thanksgiving media campaigns with the work they did,” said MTRPC President John Zimmerman of Northfield, Minn.

The Burkel family did numerous media interviews with reporters and photographers across the U.S. and were deeply involved in the Presidential Turkey Project coordinated by MTRPC. The Burkels were featured on the front cover of the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, CNN, a White House blog and many more media outlets. They also welcomed school visits to their farm and took every opportunity to promote turkey to a variety of audiences. This was all in addition to Burkel’s regular NTF business as Chairman and his day-to-day responsibilities on his Badger, Minn. turkey farm and with his family, which includes wife Joni and kids Vanessa, Andrea, Alex, Jack and Emily.

Said Zimmerman: “For the Burkel family’s willingness to give the nation a glimpse into their farm and family and as a token of our appreciation, we present you with our Promoter of the Year award.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 19 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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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)

 

MTGA Announces Ranelius Scholarship Recipients

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171

E-mail:      ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 (Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) announced five 2014 Ranelius Scholarship awards for $1,000 each to worthy students at its annual meeting on March 19 in Saint Paul, Minn.

This is a competitive award given to a current student(s) with an interest in poultry and agriculture. The recipients are as follows:

Robert Orsten, Jr. Willmar MN

  • Robert is the son of MTGA board member Robert Orsten.
  • He will graduate from high school this spring
  • Robert will enroll at Bethel University and plans to return to the family farm

Alaine Buysse, Ghent, MN

  • Alaine is a senior at Minneota High School
  • She has been active in working with poultry on their farm
  • Alaine plans to attend South Dakota State University this fall majoring in Animal Science with plans to continue onto vet school.

Michaela Olson, Janesville, MN

  • Michaela grew up on a small hobby farm which included laying hens, broilers, turkeys, ducks, and guinea fowl.
  • She is a Freshman at the University of Minnesota majoring in Animal Science-Pre – Vet and is active in the Gopher Poultry Science Club, Block and Bridle, Pre-Vet Club, and St. Paul’s Catholic Outreach.

Eleni  Solberg, Stewartville, MN

  • Eleni is a senior at Stewartville High School
  • She is involved in FFA and 4-H and served as MN’s Poultry Princess making appearances throughout the state
  • Eleni plans to attend the University of Arkansas to study poultry science, intern with a poultry company and then get a job back in Minnesota

Lisa Busack, Belview, MN

  • Lisa is a junior at the University of Minnesota
  • She currently serves as the National Vice President of the Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization
  • She plans to teach agriculture at the high school or community college level

“On behalf of MTGA, I congratulate all these young people and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors, as they work toward their specific career goals in agriculture,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson.

For more information on the MTGA or its Ranelius Scholarship program, please visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

 

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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 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)

MN Turkey Growers Association Offers Scholarship Program

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

(Buffalo, MN) … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is pleased to announce its 2014 Ranelius Scholarship Program, designed to encourage students enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution in Minnesota to prepare for a career in some phase of the turkey industry.

A total of $5,000 is available for scholarship awards. (Actual scholarship amount given out to worthy recipient(s) will be designated by MTGA Board of Directors, based on eligibility and criteria listed below.)

Eligibility:  The MTGA scholarship recipient(s) must be a citizen of the state of Minnesota and either be enrolled or plan to be enrolled in a post high school educational program that will prepare them for employment in some phase of the poultry industry.  While there are no restrictions on the major or program selected, it must provide suitable training for the applicant’s stated career goals.  Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received an MTGA scholarship, and who are either members of the MTGA, or who are family members or employees of members of the MTGA.

Judging Criteria: The selection of the scholarship recipient will be made by an MTGA Board of Directors and based on the applications received.  The committee may withhold the scholarship award if there are insufficient worthy applicants.  An applicant’s scholastic record is a major factor.  Experience, activities and honors received will be considered.  The applicant’s demonstrated interest in the poultry industry, as reflected by past activities and a statement of career plans are also important considerations.

Application:  The application consists of a 3-page listing of requested information (format provided by the MTGA); a 1-page written statement from the applicant; and one letter of recommendation.

Recipients may be asked to participate as a Minnesota Turkey ambassador at public events during the year. Scheduling will be mutually agreed upon and all expenses will be reimbursed.

Deadline:  The deadline for receiving entries is February 15, 2014.  Mail or email entries to:  Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Scholarship Selection Committee, 108 Marty Drive, Buffalo, MN  55313; enelson@minnesotaturkey.com.

For additional info or an application:  Visit www.minnesotaturkey.com/education or contact the MTGA at 108 Marty Drive, Buffalo, MN  55313; phone, 763/682-2171; fax, 763/682-5546;   enelson@minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTGA

MTGA, founded in 1939 and headquartered in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2013. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

Media Coverage of #Popcorn and #Caramel

Did you catch this terrific video piece from CNN about Minnesota’s Presidential turkeys?  Check it out!

And here’s a video piece from Politico:

Other media links:

Wall Street Journal          For Thanksgiving turkeys, presidential pardon takes practice

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304011304579218182047208114

 

Time Magazine                 10 things you probably didn’t know about presidential turkey pardons

http://nation.time.com/2013/11/26/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-presidential-turkey-pardons/

 

People.com                       President Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkeys

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20761491,00.html

 

Politico.com                      President Obama crowns victor of turkey ‘Hunger Games’

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/turkey-pardon-2013-100433.html

Photo gallery: http://www.politico.com/gallery/2013/11/2013-national-thanksgiving-turkey-pardon/001473-020768.html#.UpTTJCnxC8E.email

 

Washington Post             Popcorn the turkey wins presidential pardon, but Caramel also spared

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/popcorn-the-turkey-comes-out-on-top-in-presidential-pardon-poll/2013/11/27/2a57b2be-56e5-11e3-835d-e7173847c7cc_story.html

 

New York Times               History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/us/politics/a-history-of-the-presidential-turkey-pardon.html?_r=0

 

New York Daily News      Sibling of turkeys getting presidential pardon has a different fate, as food for the    needy at The Salvation Army
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sibling-turkeys-presidential-pardon-meets-governor-article-1.1529278

 

Canoe.TV (Canada)         Video of ceremony

http://en.video.canoe.tv/archive/source/st-catharines-standard/us-president-barack-obama-pardons-thanksgiving-turkey/2876420678001

 

Associated Press              Obama pardons turkeys as part of annual White House rite

http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_24613654/obama-pardons-turkeys-part-annual-rite

 

Pioneer Press                    This Minnesota turkey drew the short straw

http://www.twincities.com/life/ci_24558808/this-turkey-drew-short-straw?IADID=Search-www.twincities.com-www.twincities.com

 

Star Tribune                      So far, this Minnesota turkey is one lucky bird

* Includes Minnesota Turkey video footage, photos and a link to our micro-website

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/232602961.html

 

Star Tribune                      Minnesota turkeys win White House pardon

http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/233651281.html

 

Star Tribune                      Minnesota continues grand tradition of not pardoning turkey

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/233404031.html

 

ObamaFoodorama.com                   Several blog posts

http://www.obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2013/11/president-obama-to-be-presented-with.html

http://www.obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2013/11/popcorn-or-carmel-white-house-runs.html

http://www.obamafoodorama.blogspot.in/2013/11/president-obama-pardons-minnesota.html

 

The Huffington Post       Obama pardons national Thanksgiving turkey

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/27/obama-turkey-pardon_n_4351282.html

 

Dakota Student (UND)   Burkels to talk turkey at White House

http://www.dakotastudent.com/2765/features/burkels-to-talk-turkey-at-white-house/

 

India Times                        America’s biggest shopping weekend (turkey pardon mentioned)

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/americas/americas-biggest-shopping-weekend-114714.html

 

Washington Times          Inside the Beltway – Obama Plan: Raise Money, Then Pardon Turkey

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/24/inside-the-beltway-obama-plan-raise-money-then-par/

 

VetStreet.com                  What it takes to get a Presidential pardon

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/holiday-trivia-what-it-takes-to-get-a-presidential-turkey-pardon

 

Canada Poultry                Standing proud

http://www.agannex.com/business-policy/standing-proud

 

MPR.org                             Minnesota turkey goes up for presidential pardon

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/11/21/news/turkey-presidential-pardon

 

Staffer blog                         Recap of pardoning week

http://myothermoreexcitingself.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/thanksgiving-in-washington-dc-presidentialturkey13/

Governor Dayton, Minnesota’s Turkey Farmers Usher in Thanksgiving

For immediate release

Contact:

Lara Durben, Communications Director

763/682-2171, cell 612/554-0920 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

MTGA Announces Donation of 10,000 Pounds of Turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

 St. Paul, MN (November 25, 2013) – Governor Mark Dayton welcomed the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and a 36-pound tom turkey to the State Capitol today. The event marks a time-honored tradition, going back more than two decades, of Minnesota’s Governor kicking off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota.

“Today we give thanks for our state’s strong agriculture industry and the abundance of food Minnesota farmers provide for the world – including the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, the turkey,” said MTGA President and turkey farmer John Zimmerman of Northfield, Minn.

At the event, Zimmerman announced the donation of approximately 10,000 pounds of turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will 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 Zimmerman. “Minnesota’s turkey farmers are committed to helping do their part to combat hunger with this annual donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota.”

The turkey donated today will feed over 12,500 people.

Zimmerman raises 3-4 million pounds of turkey on his family farm, which means his farm alone feeds up to 3 million people each and every year. He also raises 500 acres of corn and soybeans.

Since 2001, MTGA has donated 200,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state – or enough turkey to feed over 250,000 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 .

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, In 2012, more than 8,500 people per day used Minnesota food shelves, an increase of 59% since the recession began in 2007.   Families with children account for more than 1.2 million Minnesota food shelf visits, and nearly 20,000 more children used food shelves in 2012 than in 2011.

Said Colleen Moriarty, HSM Executive Director: “Despite improvements in the economy, many Minnesota households still struggle to put food on the table.  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[JH1] . 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.

The tom turkey that participated in the Governor’s ceremony is one of the birds in a Presidential flock raised by John Burkel in Badger, MN. Burkel, the 2013 National Turkey Federation Chairman, is bringing two other birds in this special flock to Washington DC for the National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning ceremony on Wednesday, November 27.

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About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and currently 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 http://www.facebook.com/HungerSolutionsMinnesota

 

Road Trip to DC!

The Presidential Turkeys are Off to DC | via minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey

Have you seen the photo we posted on Facebook earlier today? It’s the Presidential turkeys making their way to Washington DC in the back of their vehicle – looking very comfortable, we might add!

We just heard tonight – via the driver of the car – that the birds are loving Lady Gaga. Everytime they hear “Bad Romance” they gobble!

You can’t make this stuff up.