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Minnesota Turkey Ushers in Thanksgiving with Donation to Hunger Solutions, Visit with Governor Dayton

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Contact:
Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director
763/682-2171, cell 612/554-0920 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

A Brother from the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock Makes an Appearance

St. Paul, MN (November 17, 2017) – Governor Mark Dayton continued the time-honored tradition – dating back to the 1940s – of kicking off the Thanksgiving holiday with the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) at the State Capitol today. Also in special attendance was a tom (male) turkey, raised as part of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock near Alexandria, MN.

“Thanksgiving is a day for all of us to share with our families and friends, and to give thanks for our blessings,”said Governor Mark Dayton. “This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Minnesotans to serve Minnesota-grown turkeys.”

At the event, MTRPC President Kim Halvorson announced the donation of approximately $11,000 to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will go toward the purchase of turkey products to be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.

“Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday for Minnesota’s turkey farmers – all about tradition. And today, I am grateful to be able to announce that the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association is continuing our tradition of donating turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota,” said Halvorson.

“Many Minnesota families don’t have a warm home and big dinner to look forward to on Thanksgiving,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “There are more than 3 million visits to food shelves in Minnesota every year. Volunteering or making a donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota is a great way to help. I’m grateful to Hunger Solutions and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association for their hard work and generosity this season, and every time of year.”

Kim Halvorson and her son raise about 100,000 turkeys on their farm near Morristown each year. They also own and operate Bio Wood Processing, which recycles and reuses discarded wood product, and HF Applications, which brokers, sells and agrinomically applies nutrient-rich turkey litter (made up of bedding product combined with manure) to area farm fields.

Since 2001, MTGA has donated approximately 274,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state, which will feed 342,500 people in Minnesota. That’s enough turkey to feed Halvorson’s home county (Rice County) five times over.

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

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

to put healthy meals on their tables.  The need for emergency food relief continues to be a problem in Minnesota even as our economy has improved.

MTGA/MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson also spoke about the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his Alternate, which were raised in Minnesota by Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg and will be traveling to the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony at the White House next week.

Said Olson: “Carl Wittenburg is the current Chairman of the National Turkey Federation and it’s his privilege to raise this special flock. 2017 marks the 13th time over the past 70 years that Minnesota has provided turkeys for the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony.”

This year, the Wittenburgs were delighted to have enthusiastic help from five young ladies of Douglas County 4-H. Minnesota 4-H is part of University of Minnesota. All five Douglas County 4-H members worked together on a Science of Agriculture Challenge project that evaluated several turkey bedding types for effectiveness and turkey comfort – all under the guidance of turkey farmers Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg. After they completed that project, they got to work helping to raise and train the National Thanksgiving Turkey flock, essentially getting them ready for the excitement of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony at the White House.

One of the Douglas County 4-H members – Katie Kent of Alexandria, had this to say about her experience: “This entire project – including our trip to Washington DC – will be a lifelong memory for all of us, and the skills we have learned along the way will benefit us in countless ways.

Approximately 450 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 46 million birds annually. Minnesota remains steadfast at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.
Current U.S. turkey production stands at 228 million this year – which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 20% of all U.S. turkeys. Approximately 95% of all Americans will eat turkey at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation.

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

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

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

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Turkeys from National Thanksgiving Flock to Visit Twin Cities Schools

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2017

Contacts:
Nicole Krumrie, 763-682-2171 or nkrumrie@minnesotaturkey.com
Lara Durben, 612-554-0920 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Twin Cities Students “Flock” to See Turkeys from the National Thanksgiving Flock

What: National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock Members Visit Twin Cities Students

When: November 14, 2018

Where:
• Kaposia Education Center
o 1225 1st Ave S, South St. Paul, MN 55075
o 9am-10am
o Presenting to five 4th grade classes (137 students)

• Cedar Riverside Community Schools
o 1610 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55454
o 12pm-1pm
o Presenting to 4th and 5th grade classes (34 students)

Details:
• The Minnesota Turkey Growers will be bringing a turkey from the National Thanksgiving Flock to two schools in the Twin Cities to teach students about the tradition of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony at the White House, help them learn more about Minnesota’s turkey farmers, and share with them what the Minnesota 4-H program is all about.
• Each year, two turkeys travel to Washington D.C. – one serves as the National Thanksgiving Turkey and the other as his Alternate. The turkey that will visit the schools is a brother to these two birds.
• The National Thanksgiving Turkey is part of a flock that is being raised in Alexandria, MN by the Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg. Carl is the current chairman of the National Turkey Federation and also a Minnesota Turkey Growers Association member.
• 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony.

Interview/Photo/Video Opportunities:
• Steve Olson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
• 4-H members from the Alexandria, Minn., area who are assisting with the training the birds
• Kaposia and Cedar Riverside students

More Information about the National Thanksgiving Flock:
www.minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey
Facebook  |  Instagram – @MinnesotaTurkey  | Snapchat – MinnesotaTurkey

RSVP your attendance to:
Nicole Krumrie, 763-682-2171 or nkrumrie@minnesotaturkey.com

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National Thanksgiving Turkey and Its Alternate Coming from Alexandria!

PRESS RELEASE

(Buffalo, MN) – November is always a busy month for Minnesota’s turkey farmers, which are ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. This year, however, will place an even bigger spotlight on Minnesota as the National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife, Sharlene, from Alexandria, Minn., have been officially invited to bring two turkeys to Washington DC for the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey event at the White House. Their special flock hatched in late June and now the Wittenburgs have about 20 turkeys vying for the privilege of traveling to Washington DC.

A video introducing the Wittenburgs and their family history in the turkey industry – both Carl and Sharlene grew up on turkey farms in Minnesota and North Dakota – can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/OPIBTL4-gys.

Today, the couple raises about 100,000 turkeys on their family farm in Wyndmere, North Dakota, while also running a business – Protein Alliance –  for brokering a variety of proteins (including turkey), living in Alexandria, and raising their three sons.

Partnering with Minnesota 4-H

An exciting component of this project is the fact that the Wittenburgs are working with five 4-H members from Douglas County. The high school students are visiting the flock regularly to help the birds get used to people coming and going, noises, music, and so forth. None of the 4-H members had experience working with turkeys before they met the Wittenburgs and participated in a special project for the Science of Agriculture program via Minnesota 4-H last spring. That project placed 2nd in state and now the 4-H members are utilizing their knowledge of turkeys to help get the birds ready for Washington DC.

“We’re so excited to provide such an amazing national platform to showcase Minnesota’s 4-H program, which is an excellent leadership program for kids of all ages” said Carl Wittenburg. “Douglas County is the birthplace of Minnesota 4-H so this was a natural fit for us.”

You can follow along with all the fun on MinnesotaTurkey.com’s website, which has a special National Thanksgiving Turkey section that includes photos, videos, activities for kids, and resources for parents/teachers. The following social media platforms will also be a great place to catch the latest photos and fun events:

Special Events

Coming November 16 is a special Facebook Live virtual tour (starting at 10 am CST) with the Presidential Flock, the Wittenburgs, and the 4-H members. Cosponsored by Minnesota Turkey and Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom, the event is open to anyone – just visit Facebook.com/minnesotaturkey for event details.

“The Facebook Live event will be the perfect opportunity for classrooms to participate and show students the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock while they learn more about turkey farming in Minnesota. Plus there will be plenty of time ask questions during the event,” said Steve Olson, Executive Director, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. “The event is open to anyone with an interest in turkey farming and the National Thanksgiving Turkey project – the more the merrier!”

One of the brothers of the National Thanksgiving Turkey flock will also be at the State Capitol on Friday, November 17 for Minnesota Turkey’s annual Thanksgiving presentation with Governor Mark Dayton.

Name Those Turkeys!

Everyone can also get involved in the Presidential Turkey Naming Contest on the website – visit between now and November 10 and submit your name suggestions for the two turkeys going to Washington DC. We will compile the most popular sets and give them to the White House for consideration.

The official hashtag for the National Thanksgiving Turkey project is #PresidentialTurkey.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2017. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers – from 1st to 6thgeneration farm families – of any state in the U.S. For further information, visithttp://www.minnesotaturkey.com/www.minnesotaturkey.com or find us on Facebook:www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey, Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Pinterest (@MinnesotaTurkey), Snapchat (MinnesotaTurkey), and Instagram (@MinnesotaTurkey).

Follow the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock!

National Thanksgiving Turkey and Its Alternate Coming from Alexandria!

National Thanksgiving Turkey flock via MinnesotaTurkey.com

November is always a busy month for Minnesota’s turkey farmers, which are ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. This year, however, will place an even bigger spotlight on Minnesota as the National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife, Sharlene, from Alexandria, Minn., have been officially invited to bring two turkeys to Washington DC for the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey event at the White House. Their special flock hatched in late June and now the Wittenburgs have about 20 turkeys vying for the privilege of traveling to Washington DC.

A video introducing the Wittenburgs and their family history in the turkey industry – both Carl and Sharlene grew up on turkey farms in Minnesota and North Dakota – can be viewed on YouTube:

Today, the couple raises about 100,000 turkeys on their family farm in Wyndmere, North Dakota, while also running a business – Protein Alliance –  for brokering a variety of proteins (including turkey), living in Alexandria, and raising their three sons.

The Wittenburgs are working with five 4-H members from Douglas County on this project. The high school students are visiting the flock regularly to help the birds get used to people coming and going, noises, music, and so forth.

“We’re so excited to provide such an amazing national platform to showcase Minnesota’s 4-H program,” said Carl Wittenburg. “Douglas County is the birthplace of Minnesota 4-H so this was a natural fit for us.”

You can follow along with all the fun on MinnesotaTurkey.com’s website, which has a special Presidential Turkey section that includes photos, videos, activities for kids, and resources for parents/teachers. The following social media platforms will also be a great place to catch the latest photos and fun events:

  • Facebook.com/minnesotaturkey and Facebook.com/presidentialturkey
  • Instagram – @MinnesotaTurkey and @PresidentialTurkey
  • Snaptchat – MinnesotaTurkey

Coming November 16 is a special Facebook Live virtual tour (starting at 10 am CST) with the Presidential Flock, the Wittenburgs, and the 4-H members. Cosponsored by Minnesota Turkey and Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom, the event is open to anyone – just visit Facebook.com/minnesotaturkey for event details.

“The Facebook Live event will be the perfect opportunity for classrooms to participate and show students the National Thanksgiving Turkey Flock while they learn more about turkey farming in Minnesota. Plus there will be plenty of time ask questions during the event,” said Steve Olson, Executive Director, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. “The event is open to anyone with an interest in turkey farming and the National Thanksgiving Turkey project – the more the merrier!”

Everyone can also get involved in the Presidential Turkey Naming Contest on the website – visit between now and November 10 and submit your name suggestions for the two turkeys going to Washington DC. We will compile the most popular sets and give them to the White House for consideration.

The official hashtag for the National Thanksgiving Turkey project is #PresidentialTurkey.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2017. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers – from 1st to 6th generation farm families – of any state in the U.S. For further information, visit http://www.minnesotaturkey.com/www.minnesotaturkey.com or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey, Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Pinterest (@MinnesotaTurkey), Snapchat (MinnesotaTurkey), and Instagram (@MinnesotaTurkey).

Meet the Wittenburgs!

Spotlight on the Turkey Farm Family!

Here’s an introduction to Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg and their family. The two are raising the Presidential flock and just received their official invitation to the White House to bring two birds for the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony.

Carl Wittenburg, 2017 National Turkey Federation Chairman, was born in Faribault, MN, and raised in Wyndmere, ND, on a turkey, cattle and grain farm, Carl had an early involvement in agriculture through his participation in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) in high school. In college, Carl co-owned, and operated a turkey farm in Rugby, ND which he would later sell in 2010.

Upon graduating from North Dakota State University, Carl went to work for Northern Pride Cooperative, a turkey processing facility, as production coordinator and by 1992, Carl was recruited as the USA Sales Manager for Hybrid Turkeys. Seven short years later Protein Alliance was formed with his business partner Jeff Stauffenecker and Carl serves as President of that company.

In 2010, Carl and Sharlene purchased the family turkey farm in Wyndmere, ND and are shareholder members of Northern Pride Cooperative. Sharlene manages the day-to-day operations of the turkey farm and the couple has made their home in Alexandria, MN for many years.

Carl has been very involved in the turkey industry as the North Dakota Poultry Industries chair and an elected member of the National Turkey Federation (NTF) executive committee since 2008 where he chairs the NTF’s Communications committee. Carl and his wife, Sharlene, are also long-time active members of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

Carl and Sharlene couple have three adult children – Nick, Nate, and Wyatt – and one grandchild.

 

 

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Kick-Off to the National Thanksgiving Turkey’s Road to White House

What:

Minnesota expects an invitation from the White House to bring two turkeys to Washington DC the week of Thanksgiving for the annual Presidential pardon. The invitation hasn’t officially been sent yet, but we anticipate that it will come later this fall. We are kicking off the “Road to the White House” at the Minnesota State Fair.

Who:

2017 National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife, Sharlene Wittenburg of Alexandria, Minn. are raising the Presidential flock. Five 4-H members from Douglas County are assisting with the project, helping to train the turkeys to become accustomed to light, noises, music, and people.

When:

Saturday, August 26 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
4-H Exhibits Building; STEM Center – State Fairgrounds

What:

The Wittenburgs along with the five 4-H members and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council’s (MTRPC) Executive Director Steve Olson will be available for interviews regarding the kick-off to the White House. The 4-H members can also talk about how they were chosen to assist with this project – through their participation in the Minnesota 4-H “Science of Ag” Contest, in which they won second place.

A table will be set up in the 4-H Exhibits Building with information on how the public can follow along with the flock this fall via the MinnesotaTurkey.com website and several social media platforms.

Fun Facts:

4-H

  • 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization empowering nearly six million young people across the U.S.
  • The concept of 4-H is encouraging youth to “learn by doing”, through project areas such as agriculture, science, health, and citizenship.
    • Leadership development is a key aspect of the 4-H program.
  • In Minnesota, over 67,000 youth are active in 4-H.
  • Douglas County is the birthplace of Minnesota’s 4-H program.

Presidential Turkey

  • 2017 marks the 70th anniversary that turkey farmers across the United States have presented a turkey to the President of the United States at Thanksgiving time.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) presented the first turkey to President Harry S. Truman in 1947.
  • Early National Thanksgiving Turkeys were destined for a dinner plate until President George H.W. Bush began the official tradition of pardoning the turkey in 1989.
  • Minnesota has had 12 people serve as the National Turkey Federation Chairman – and present a turkey to a President – since the NTF’s inception and 2017 will mark the 13th NTF Chairman from Minnesota to do so.

Turkey Farming

  • Minnesota ranks #1 in United States for turkey production – with 450 family farmers raising 46 million turkeys on 600 farms across the state.
  • Minnesota has more independent turkey farmers than any other state in the U.S. Many of these farmers come from 4th, 5th, and even 6th generation farm families.

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA)

  • The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), established in 1939, represents the 450 farms and farm families who raise 46 million turkeys annually.
  • Minnesota turkey farms are family – and often have been in the family for 4, 5, and even 6th generations.

National Turkey Federation (NTF)

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) strives to support, grow, and promote turkey across the United States.

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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Presidential Turkey Program to be Presented at Various Twin Cities Schools

Media Opportunity

For immediate release

 

Contact:

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

Ph: 763/682-2171  |  Cell: 612/554-0920

Email: ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Presidential Turkey Program to be Presented at Various Twin Cities Schools

Includes Visit from a Live Turkey – a Brother of the National Thanksgiving Turkey

What:

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) will be presenting a program on the “National Thanksgiving Turkey” to classes at the schools listed below. This includes bringing a live turkey from the Presidential turkey flock, currently being raised in Badger, MN. (Note: the live bird will be a brother of the turkey going to Washington DC.)

While at the White House ceremony, Minnesota turkey farmer John Burkel will present President Obama and his family with the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey on November 27 (time TBA).  Burkel has received this honor as he is currently serving as the 2013 Chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

Visit www.minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey for details on the Presidential turkey flock and follow the Burkel family’s journey leading up to the ceremony.

Dates/Locations:

Monday, November 18th – Presentations at 9:35am, 10:20am, 12:45pm, & 1:30pm

  • School of Engineering and Art, 1751 Kelly Drive, Golden Valley, MN (Kindergarten & 1st grade)

Tuesday, November 19th – Presentations at 2:10pm & 3:10pm

  • Jefferson School, 1200 West 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN (5th grade)

Wednesday, November 20th – Presentations at 9:35am, 10:20am, & 1pm

  • Red Pine Elementary, 530 Red Pine Lane, Eagan, MN (4th grade)

Schedule of Events:

Each school presentation will last approximately 40 minutes, depending on the size of the group and the number of questions. The tentative schedule of events at each school visit will include:

  • Introduction / video (5 minutes)
  • Presentation on turkey farming (10 minutes)
  • Introduce the family who has raised the Presidential turkey via video (5 minutes)
  • Meet the live turkey/answer questions (20 minutes)

RSVP:

RSVP is requested so that we can provide your name to the school in advance. Please email or call Lara Durben, ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com or 763/682-2171.

About John Burkel

John Burkel is a fourth generation turkey farmer from Badger, MN, who raises turkey hens (female turkeys) for Northern Pride, Inc.  He and his wife Joni have five children: (Vanessa (Junior in college), Andrea (senior in high school), Alex (freshman in high school), Jack (5th grade) and Emily (kindergarten). He has served on the Northern Pride board of directors since 2000 and also served as a board member for the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association from 1999-2008, acting as president of that organization in 2004-2005.  Since 2007, John has been a member of the National Turkey Federation (NTF) Executive Committee and currently serves as the 2013 NTF Chairman, which gives him the opportunity to bring a turkey to the White House for the annual Thanksgiving pardoning ceremony.

About MTGA

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 47 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey farmers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey.

 

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Badger High School to Host Send-Off for Presidential Turkeys

Media Opportunity

For immediate release

 

Contact:

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

Ph: 763/682-2171  |  Cell: 612/554-0920

Email: ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

UPDATED: Badger High School to Host Send-Off for Presidential Turkeys 

What:

The Presidential turkeys and the Badger, MN farm family that is raising them will be the very special guests at a “send-off” at Badger High School in northwestern Minnesota.

Minnesota turkey farmer John Burkel and his family will present President Obama with the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey on November 27 (time TBA).  Burkel has received this honor as he is currently serving as the 2013 Chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

In addition to the Burkel family, the entire senior class of Badger High School will make the trip to Washington DC.

The two turkeys – the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his alternate – will leave Badger, MN over the weekend and are scheduled to arrive in Washington DC on Monday, November 25.

NEW – included on the send-off program in Badger, Minn., will be Senator Al Franken.

Visit www.minnesotaturkey.com/presidentialturkey for details on the Presidential turkey flock and follow the Burkel family’s journey leading up to the ceremony.

Send-Off Date/Time

Friday, November 22, 2013 at Badger High School (gymnasium)

The send-off will run approximately 2:20 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Schedule of Events:

Program will include:

  • Welcome by Badger Schools Superintendent Tom Jerome
  • Turkey industry introduction by Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Executive Director Steve Olson
  • JUST CONFIRMED – Comments from Senator Al Franken
  • Turkey game show (with 5 contestants, hand-picked from the Badger community)
  • Videos shown on the Burkel family and the Presidential flock
  • Introduction of the National Thanksgiving Turkey

RSVP:

If possible, RSVP is requested so that we can provide your name to the school in advance. Please email or call Lara Durben, ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com or 763/682-2171.

About John Burkel

John Burkel is a fourth generation turkey farmer from Badger, MN, who raises turkey hens (female turkeys) for Northern Pride, Inc.  He and his wife Joni have five children: Vanessa (sophomore in college), Andrea (senior in high school), Alex (sophomore in high school), Jack (5th grade) and Emily (kindergarten). He has served on the Northern Pride board of directors since 2000 and also served as a board member for the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association from 1999-2008, acting as president of that organization in 2004-2005.  Since 2007, John has been a member of the National Turkey Federation (NTF) Executive Committee and currently serves as the 2013 NTF Chairman, which gives him the opportunity to bring a turkey to the White House for the annual Thanksgiving pardoning ceremony.

About MTGA

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 47 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many of these turkey farmers are 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey.

 

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