Lynette Gessell | WingTips Blog | Minnesota Turkey Farmer

About Lynette Gessell

Lynette and her husband, John, raise turkeys in central Minnesota. John is the third in his paternal line to take on the business of raising turkeys. Their daughter and son in law joined them as growers too, and so they mark four generations of raising turkeys.  They raise light hens, which are female turkeys, for Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Lynette also serves on the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council Board of Directors. She is active in supportive roles for local organizations and her church. She assists the Flensburg Fire Department with the annual grant request for equipment from the Department of Homeland Security.  Each year, she volunteers to help the Swanville Lions Club during the Swanville Summer Carnival and as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army.

Lynette and John have three children and 2 grandchildren.  She enjoys the great outdoors, high school sports and activities, gardening, music, cooking, reading, entertaining, socializing and spending time with friends and family.

Pete Klaphake | WingTips Blog | Minnesota Turkey Farmer

About Pete Klaphake

Pete Klaphake is a third generation turkey farmer from Melorse, MN, and part owner of Klaphake Feed Mill, Inc and R&L Turkeys.  His family business raises around 30 million pounds of hen turkeys primarily marketed as frozen whole birds you find in the freezers of grocery stores and they also manufacture and haul all the feed our birds consume out of our feed mill.

Pete is personally involved in running the day to day operations of the turkey farm side of of the family business, which employs around 25 people between the farms and mill. The operation is a combination of 33 fully owned barns, 6 partially owned barns, and 6 leased or contracted barns on 14 farms – all in the central Minnesota area.

Pete and his wife, Brenda, have three children (Abby, 8, Wyatt,  6, and Isaac, 3) and the family lives on one of their farms between Sauk Centre and Melrose.

Ashley Klaphake - Minnesota Turkey Blogger from Meadowlark Farms

About Ashley Klaphake

Hi, my name is Ashley Klaphake – wife of Jon Klaphake. I married into the turkey business; however I had experience growing up on a dairy farm. Jon and I have 2 kids who are excited about the birds every time they see them. We took over operations at Meadowlark Turkeys LLC beginning January 1st, 2017 and we employ one person for the time being. Prior to January 1,  Jon and his dad, Glen, raised turkeys and over 900 acres in crops. Jon has been raising birds for most of his life.

We are a 3rd generation family farm which was founded in 1972. We raise 250,000 turkeys a year which equates to about 3.6 million pounds per year. We raise a combination of light hens and heavy hens, growth ranging between 13-17 1/2 weeks of age. My roles on the farm can range from brooding on days when Jon needs some extra help along with most of the administrative management tasks.

For our farm, we’ve taken a leap into raising antibiotic-free, vegetable-fed turkeys, which has been a new opportunity for us. We were approached by Jennie-O Turkey Store to raise antibiotic-free, vegetable-fed turkeys back in July 2016. This is part of why I’m excited to start the conversation here on this blog regarding our new adventure and how it’s working for us.

About Lara Durben

Lara is Minnesota Turkey’s Communications and Assistant Executive Director and she has worked for the organization for over 21 years. Lara coordinates all communications activities for the organization including Gobbles magazine, various member email newsletters, website, social media, and working with the media. She also assists with the planning of several annual events, including the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.

Lara is a contributor to Ask The Farmers. She also volunteers as a moderator for #FoodChat and #AgChat Twitter chats when she can, and is a member of the National Turkey Federation’s Marketing and Communications Committee.

Lara is a farm girl from Hector, Minnesota – her parents, brother and nephew run the family’s corn and soybean farm. She has her own personal blog that often covers poultry topics, as well, along with gardening, recipes and family life. Lara and her husband,  Jerry, a 7th grade social studies teacher, have a one son, Joe, currently an 8th grader.

More contributors coming soon!