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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.

 

 

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)