Just in time for the weekend … check out this fun video of folks from Minnesota getting their gobble on! Most are from Badger High School – filmed by Alex Burkel. If there was ever a turkey video worth sharing with your friends, this is it! :-)
Last week, two classes from Badger Elementary School visited the Presidential flock, learned more about raising turkeys and, in the process, helped acclimate the turkeys even further to lots of noise and commotion. The photos below are of the kindergarten and 5th grade classes.
John and Joni Burkel’s two youngest children, Emily and Jack are part of those classes, as well. Emily is a kindergartner and Jack is a 5th grader. Judging from these photos, it looks like everyone had a great time learning about turkeys!
Have you heard? Female turkeys really dig the snood!
But what is the snood? And the wattle for that matter?
Check out this short video featuring Alex Burkel, whose family is raising the Presidential flock in Minnesota this year. Alex points out the wattle and the snood – no thanks to a photobombing turkey – and also explains that turkeys have about 3,500 feathers or so.
Turns out, a snood’s main function in life is to attract the girl turkeys (or “hens”) to the boy turkeys (or “toms”).
See it really is true – chicks dig the snood!
Hi, my name is Andrea Burkel. This year my family has been given the honor to raise the turkeys for the Thanksgiving Pardoning with the president, so I thought I’d start out by introducing everyone!
First I’ll talk a little about myself. I am currently 17 years old and a senior in Badger High School. I’m planning to attend college at UND (University of North Dakota) after I graduate. My interests include volleyball, golf, band, and choir.
My older sister, Vanessa, is 19 and currently attending college at UND. Alex, my 15 year old brother, is a sophomore at Badger. He loves playing his trumpet and is also involved in one act plays, basketball, and golf.
My other brother Jack is 10 and in fifth grade. Right now he’s hooked on the video games Minecraft and Call Of Duty: Black Ops II. He’s also learning to play trumpet and likes to play outside, jumping on the trampoline and playing in the tree house that he and Alex built in our backyard last summer.
Emily, the baby of the family, will be turning 6 in December. She’s in kindergarten this year. Emily loves to play dress up and often has tea parties with the rest of us kids and all of her dolls.
I’ll be posting more later about caring for the presidential turkeys with my family and friends! Stay tuned… :-)
We’ve got new video from the Burkel family – specifically Alex, Jack and Emily – who took a video camera into one of their large turkey barns and provided a little tour and some information about what turkeys drink and eat.
The barn featured in the video is housing about 4,000 turkeys right now – you can see that they aren’t raised in cages (which is sometimes a common misperception) and they have plenty of space to move around.
Turkeys are housed in modern barns like these because it protects them from the weather elements – whether it’s really hot in the summer or below zero in the winter – and it keeps predators away, as well.
The turkeys’ barn is much like our own houses – it provides heating, cooling and a clean, safe environment in which to live.
As Alex explains in the video, the family chose about 80 birds out of this larger flock to raise as the “Presidential flock.” Once those birds grew bigger, the Presidential flock was narrowed down to about 20 hopefuls, which in turn, was reduced to less than 10 who have “made the cut.” Time will tell which two birds are the most well-behaved to make the trip to Washington DC!
Check out the video and let us know if you learned anything new about turkeys!
For immediate release
Contact: Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
Ph: 763/682-2171 (office), 612/554-0920 (mobile), email@example.com
- Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 55 years (since 1958). Our State Fair concession stand, Turkey To Go, is known for its signature Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich and Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks.
- Turkey To Go was named the People’s Choice Award for “Best Food or Beverage” at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair!
- We expect to cook approximately 20,000 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this year for our Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches.
- Turkey To Go has multiple locations around the Twin Cities for year-round customers. Up-to-date location information on a daily basis can be found at www.twitter.com/turkeytogo or visit www.turkeytogo.com for details.
- Mobile food cart in downtown Minneapolis – On most weekdays during lunch, Turkey To Go’s Mobile food cart is located at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. During Minnesota Twins home games, the cart is set up at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue.
- Target Field – Turkey To Go is behind home plate between sections 112 and 113 as well as outside Section 318.
- Food court (indoor) location with an expanded menu in downtown Minneapolis in the Baker Building (skyway level), 706 Second Avenue South
- Food court (indoor) location with an expanded menu in Downtown St. Paul in the Alliance Bank Building (skyway level), 56 East Sixth Street
- Turkeys are raised in U.S. are free of added hormones and steroids. In fact, there are no hormones or steroids approved for use in turkey production in the U.S.
- Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.
- Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 250 turkey farmers who raise approximately 47 million turkeys annually on 600 farms. ]
- Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of our turkey producers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers.
- Formed in 1939, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), is a nonprofit trade association dedicated to fostering a successful turkey industry. Today MTGA and its sister organization, Minnesota Turkey Research Promotion Council, work on behalf of Minnesota’s turkey industry in the areas of research, promotion, public relations, issues management, education and government affairs.
- MTGA’s Web site – www.minnesotaturkey.com – features links to more than 1,700 turkey recipes for consumers and the foodservice industry. We also have recipes at our State Fair booth in the Dairy Building.
- Producing a quality, nutritious and safe product is the top priority for turkey farmers as well as turkey processing companies, which follow USDA guideliness for food safety. Consumers, too, need to do their part to ensure that turkey is handled properly in the kitchen and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., as measured by a food thermometer.
- And just for fun … MTGA’s partners who help us run Turkey To Go — The Turkey Guys — are also the stars of a new HGTV show called “Renovate to Rent!”
Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
Ph: 763/682-2171 (office) or 612/554-0920 (cell)
Gobbling Up Turkey To Go – Named People’s Choice for Best Fair Food in 2012!
(Buffalo, MN) … Turkey To Go concession stand couldn’t be prouder of its 55-year tradition at the Minnesota State Fair.Owned by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) with day-to-day operations handled by The Turkey Guys, Turkey To Go has built its reputation as a State Fair mainstay, serving up turkey since 1958!
In 2012, Turkey To Go was named “People’s Choice for Best Fair Food or Beverage”, a new honor bestowed by the State Fair and voted on by fairgoers.
MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson says the goal of Turkey To Go isn’t much different than five+ decades ago – to showcase to fairgoers that turkey can be a delicious, nutritious option for meals all year-long.
“It’s exciting for Turkey To Go to be named the favorite food at the State Fair last year,” said Olson. “With over five decades of experience serving up a variety of turkey products at at the State Fair, we’re proud of the way our Giant Juicy Turkey sandwich has taken off in popularity. And thanks to a mobile cart in downtown Minneapolis, two venus in Target Field, and two indoor food court restaurants in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Turkey To Go continues to expand its reach year-round.”
Turkey To Go’s Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich comes in its original version or a gigantic half-pound option. The concession stand also serves up its popular roasted turkey drumsticks. Topping choices for these items include: bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce; brie cheese and cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon and sweet glaze.
MTGA works in tandem with its partner, The Turkey Guys, to ensure the success of Turkey to Go at the State Fair. While MTGA handles much of the behind-the-scenes details of the operation prior to and during the State Fair and is responsible for upkeep to the building and equipment, The Turkey Guys – better known as Drew Levin and Daniel Perkins – bring in their staff to run the concession stand, including cooking and serving up turkey to hungry fairgoers.
The Turkey Guys may look familiar to folks who stop by the concession stand – they star in a new HGTV show, “Renovate to Rent,” which follows another one of their successful business ventures – buying properties in the Twin Cities, renovating them and then renting them out.
In addition, MTGA is proud to announce that a portion of every sale at Turkey To Go will be donated to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (www.hungersolutions.org), an organization that is dedicated to ending hunger. This is the sixth straight year of continuing this tradition of giving back.
“Minnesota’s 250 family farmers are dedicated to raising the highest quality turkey for consumers,” said Olson. “It’s been exciting to showcase Minnesota-raised turkey products through all of the Turkey To Go ventures, and
especially continue our longstanding presence at the Minnesota State Fair.”
About Turkey To Go
Turkey To Go concession at the Minnesota State Fair is located at 1256 Clough Avenue, next door to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand.
Turkey To Go’s mobile food cart locations in downtown serve the same menu and can be found most weekdays during lunch at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. A second location at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue is utilized during Minnesota Twins’ home games. For up-to-date location information, follow Turkey To Go on Twitter (@TurkeyToGo).
In addition, Turkey To Go has two locations in Target Field during Minnesota Twins’ home games (between sections 112-113 and and also in 318), and is open year-round with an expanded menu in the Baker Building food court (706 2nd Avenue South, downtown Minneapolis) and the Alliance Bank Building food court (56 East 6th Street, downtown Saint Paul) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. weekdays.
MTGA is a nonprofit trade organization that began in 1939 with a mission to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. The state ranks #1 for turkey production and processing in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey producers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey. You can also find Minnesota Turkey on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey).
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For immediate release
Contact: Lara Durben, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry Foss, Huvepharma Inc., Honored For His Years of Service and Dedication
(Buffalo, MN) … Jerry Foss of Victoria, Minn. was honored for his many years of service to Minnesota’s turkey industry at the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Summer Meeting last month in Nisswa, Minn. Foss
received the 2013 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.
Foss currently serves as the Director of the Livestock Business Unit at Huvepharma, a firm manufacturing feed additives and veterinary pharmaceuticals for the animal health and nutrition industry.
The award is based on several criteria:
- Long-term service to the industry (20+ years).
- Long-term support of the MTGA.
- Well-respected by peers and customers.
- Commitment to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry.
MTGA Allied Committee Member Randy Olson, Best Veterinary Solutions and a long-time colleague and friend of Foss, made the awards presentation.
Jerry has more than 27 years experience in the animal health and nutrition industry. He has held several positions in key animal health companies, including:
- Regional Sales Manager of Medicated Feed Additives, Packaged Veterinary Products, and Vitamin Premixes at Roche Animal Health
- National Account and Regional Sales Manager of Medicated Feed Additives, Packaged Veterinary Products, and Vitamin Premixes at Roche Animal Health
- Director of Sales and Marketing North America at Gelita
- Director of Sales and Marketing at Van Beek Global
- Sales Manager – Livestock at Phibro Animal Health
- Manager of Ridley Equine Specialty Products
Jerry also serves on the American Feed Ingredients Association’s Marketing Committee and is active in poultry, dairy, swine and beef industry groups – including a long-time member and supporter of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and an exhibitor at the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.
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 47 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.
For immediate release
Contact: Lara Durben (email@example.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.
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
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Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
108 Marty Dr.
Buffalo, MN 55313-9338