View all new releases by Minnesota Turkey below. If you need other information or materials, contact Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director, at 763/682-2171 or lara@minnesotaturkey.com.

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19 Fun Facts for 2019: Minnesota Turkey & Turkey To Go Concession

For immediate release

Contact:
Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
Ph: 763/682-2171 (office), 612/554-0920 (mobile)
ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

  1. Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 61 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.
  2. This year, MTGA celebrates 80 years of existence and released a special 80th Anniversary video series highlighting several of our multi-generational farm families to commemorate the milestone – available on our website, MinnesotaTurkey.com and YouTube Channel. MTGA thanks the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council for their assistance with the project.
  3. (Throwback) Food offerings to fairgoers have changed over the years but a few highlights include: roast turkey sandwiches with gravy (1950s and 1960s), extremely popular turkey tenderloin-on-a-stick (1970s and 1980s), turkey nuggets (1990s) and in 1999, the Great Big Turkey Sandwich was introduced and remains our focus and fan favorite today!
  4. Our menu:

Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($8.00)
Half Pound Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($9.75)
Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumstick (Original, Sweet Glazed & Buffalo – $9.75)
Turkey by the Pound – Frozen Turkey To Go product that you can take home with you! ($16.75 per pound)
Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich – Our signature Turkey To Go product, an egg, and slice of American cheese on a bun ($8.00)
Toppings: bleu cheese & buffalo sauce; brie & cranberry sauce; crispy chopped bacon & sweet glaze ($2.50)
Beverages: Lemonade w/Raspberries ($3.75), Pop ($2.75), Water ($2.75)

  1. A portion of every sale goes to Hunger Solutions Minnesota. Since 2008, TTG has donated nearly $80,550.
  2. Turkey To Go is located next to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand (1256 Clough Street).
  3. Turkey To Go was named the People’s Choice Award for “Best Food or Beverage” at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair!
  4. Turkey to Go by the numbers:
    • We expect to cook approximately 40,000 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this year.
    • From 2011-2018, Turkey To Go sold a total of 357,269 Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches and 90,588 Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks!

9. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.

  1. Don’t forget about our breakfast sandwich, which debuted in 2015 – the “Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich” that includes our famous Turkey To Go pulled turkey, an egg, & slice of American cheese on a bun.
  2. Turkey To Go also has locations at Target Field. Up-to-date location information can be found at www.twitter.com/turkeytogo or visit www.turkeytogo.com for details.
    Target Field – Turkey To Go is behind home plate between sections 112 and 113; in section 133; and in section 318
  1. Turkeys raised in the U.S. are free of added hormones and steroids. Added hormones and steroids in poultry have been illegal since the 1950s and aren’t needed anyway. Genetics and nutrition make all the difference!
  2. Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 450 turkey farmers who raise approximately 42 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 producers are 4th, 5th, and 6th generation farmers.
  3. Turkey is a versatile protein that plays well with various flavor profiles and takes on whatever seasonings or marinades it’s cooked with.
  4. MTGA was formed in 1939 as 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.
  5. Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat.
  6. MTGA’s website – www.minnesotaturkey.com – features links to turkey recipes for consumers and the foodservice industry. We also have recipes at our State Fair booth in the Dairy Building.
  7. Producing a quality, nutritious and safe product is the top priority for turkey farmers as well as turkey processing companies, which follow USDA guidelines 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.
  8. Find us on the Web at TurkeyToGo.com or MinnesotaTurkey.com and on social media:

    Facebook: facebook.com/TurkeyToGo and facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey
    Twitter: @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey
    Pinterest: pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey
    Instagram: @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

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Turkey To Go focuses on classics at the Minnesota State Fair

For immediate release

Contact:
Lara Durben, Minnesota Growers Association (MTGA)
Ph: 763/682-2171 (office) or 612/554-0920 (cell)
ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Turkey To Go focuses on the classics at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair
Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich celebrates 20 years at the fair

(Buffalo, Minn.) … Since 1958, Turkey To Go, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’s (MTGA) restaurant at the Minnesota State Fair, has had a strong presence at the Minnesota State Fair and is a can’t-miss destination for many fairgoers. The reason is simple: Turkey To Go’s favorite turkey menu options honor the timeless classic protein that turkey is, and make it a perennial State Fair favorite. In fact, in 2012, Turkey To Go was named the very first “People’s Choice for Best Fair Food or Beverage” voted on by fairgoers.

While the classic Turkey To Go menu remains a constant year after year, the flavors are still bold and delicious! The Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich is an all-time favorite that debuted in 1999 and has garnered Turkey To Go a wide variety of media coverage reaching beyond the Great Minnesota Get-Together from food bloggers and national culinary talent alike:

“The large, squishy-soft bun is loaded with tender, flavorful turkey that’s been shredded and chopped. This is great for when you’re looking for something that’s filling and not fried,” said Brenda Score, author at A Farmgirl’s Dabbles blog. I like to eat it with some BBQ sauce, but the sandwich has so much flavor you really don’t need it.”

“The hot pulled, baked turkey is dressed many ways, but I take mine plain – with spoonfuls of the cooking liquid thrown on by request,” said Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods. “[The Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich is] sloppy and perfect.”

Complimenting the Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich are Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks and the Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich, debuted in 2015. Rounding out the menu is Turkey To Go by the pound, the perfect way to take part of the State Fair experience home!

One of purposes served by Turkey To Go is getting people to think of turkey beyond the classic Thanksgiving meal and incorporate a variety of cuts and recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Minnesota’s proud turkey farm have a driving passion for promoting and serving nutritious, convenient, on-the-go turkey products to fairgoers.

“Minnesota’s turkey companies have developed more than 2,000 different turkey products for consumer enjoyment, said Lara Durben, MTGA Interim Executive Director. “That type of innovation and the knowledge and expertise of our multi-generational turkey farm families have led to Minnesota’s growth over the last 80 years to the number one turkey-producing state in the nation.”

Turkey To Go is owned by the MTGA with day-to-day operations handled by The Turkey Guys, Drew Levin and Daniel Perkins. While MTGA handles much of the behind-the-scenes details of the operation prior to and during the State Fair, The Turkey Guys bring in their staff to run the concession stand, including cooking and serving turkey to hungry fairgoers. What’s clear from day one of the State Fair is that everyone involved in Turkey To Go loves turkey!

Lastly, 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 twelfth straight year of continuing this tradition of giving back.

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 is owned by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, which has had a food stand at the Minnesota State Fair since 1958.

Turkey To Go’s Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich comes in its original version or a gigantic half-pound option. Additionally, the concession stand serves up its popular roasted turkey drumsticks. Topping choices for these items include: bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce; brie cheese and cranberry sauce; crispy chopped bacon and sweet glaze. Finally, the restaurant serves up its Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich featuring its signature Turkey To Go product, egg, and cheese on a bun – with the option to add turkey bacon as well.

In addition to its location at the Minnesota State Fair, Turkey To Go has three locations in Target Field during Minnesota Twins’ home games (behind home plate between sections 112 and 113; in section 133; and in section 318).

Fans can find Turkey To Go on Facebook (www.facebook.com/turkeytogo), Twitter (@TurkeyToGo), Instagram (@turkeytogo) and at www.turkeytogo.com.

About Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (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 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 42 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 4rd, 5th and even 6th generation farmers. For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey. You can also find Minnesota Turkey on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey), and Instagram (@MinnesotaTurkey).

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Editor’s note: High resolution photos of the turkey drumsticks, the Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich and Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich are available by request; please email ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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MTGA and MTRPC award three noteworthy individuals during annual meeting

July 2, 2019 — For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben, Communications Director
Phone: (763) 682-2171
E-mail: ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

MTGA and MTRPC award three noteworthy individuals with its Ranelius, Turkey Promoter and Allied Lifetime Achievement Awards

(Buffalo, Minn.) — The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) are pleased to share the names of its award recipients honored for their dedication, service and passion for the Minnesota turkey industry. The announcements were made at the MTGA 80th Anniversary Summer Conference on June 27 in Brainerd, Minn.

Ranelius Award
MTGA is proud to announce that Pete Rothfork, Rothfork Associates and a turkey grower from Melrose, Minn., is the 2019 recipient of its prestigious Ranelius Award.

“The Ranelius Award is the highest honor given by the MTGA,” said MTGA President Paul Kvistad, a turkey farmer from Wood Lake, Minn. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry. Pete Rothfork is more than deserving of this special honor.”

Rothfork and his family raise one million tom turkeys annually and have been involved in the Minnesota turkey industry for multiple generations. He serves as President and CEO of the Melrose Feed Mill, Inc. which manufactures 50,000 tons of feed annually. Rothfork is well- respected among his peers and served as the MTGA & MTRPC President from 1997-1998 in addition to serving as past chairman of the National Turkey Federation in 2005.

“Pete embodies servant leadership with a firm but steady hand and leads by example,” said Lara Durben, interim Executive Director. “He encourages new members to get involved with our associations and understands the value of transparent relationships with stakeholders when working toward a common goal.”

“It is a great honor to present the Ranelius Award to Pete Rothfork,” said Kvistad. “We thank him for his dedication and passion to our state 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.

To view a recap video of Pete Rothfork’s impact on Minnesota’s turkey industry, please visit Minnesota Turkey’s YouTube Channel.

Turkey Promoter of the Year Award
The MTRPC honored Kim Halvorson, current MTRPC President and a turkey grower from Morristown, Minn., with its 2019 Turkey Promoter of the Year Award.

Professionally, Halvorson has handled a myriad of media interviews through the years and was an asset during the High-Path Avian Influenza breakout in 2015. The association relied on her to take on interview requests which she conducted with expertise and ease.

More recently, Halvorson promotes turkey at a variety of events in her region, including Hy-Vee grocery stores’ “Meet a Farmer” events and annual food shelf and agriculture events put on by KLGR Radio in Faribault. Lastly, Halvorson is a board director and volunteer for Farmamerica, which aims to connect people with the evolution of agriculture.

“Kim Halvorson has long been an advocate and passionate volunteer for Minnesota’s turkey industry, even before she was elected to the board of directors” said Lara Durben, interim Executive Director. “She always maximizes her opportunities to promote turkey and agriculture wherever she is at; she makes sure our legislative leaders know how MTGA & MTRPC stand on issues.”

Congratulations to Kim Halvorson on this befitting honor. The MTRPC thanks her for years of outstanding commitment to the organization and its mission.

Allied Lifetime Achievement Award
The MTGA honored Gregg Veldman, Senior Business Manager at Evonik Corporation and a resident of Becker, Minn., with the 2019 Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gregg began his poultry career as a sales representative with Novus International in 1994 before working for Evonik Corporation in 2012.

Gregg has been an avid supporter of the turkey industry for many years. He set up a $20,000 scholarship program with Evonik for children of families impacted by High-Path Avian Influenza and has lobbied for the turkey industry at the state and national level.

“Gregg has always been a passionate advocate for the turkey industry,” said Paul Kvistad, MTGA President. “He exemplifies the role allied members play in our association and we appreciate his dedicated service throughout the past 25 years.”

For more information on the MTGA or MTRPC, Ranelius Award, Turkey Promoter of the Year, or Allied Lifetime Achievement Award programs, please contact Lara Durben at 763-682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTGA
The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, Minn., 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 approximately 42 million turkeys annually. 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, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube (@MinnesotaTurkey).

About MTRPC
The MTRPC is the oldest check-off based commodity organization in Minnesota, celebrating 50 years in 2015. Since 1965, the MTRPC has worked diligently to encourage consumers to eat more turkey year-round, sponsor innovative turkey research and educate a variety of audiences about the benefits of turkey. Programming at the MTRPC is funded by a voluntary grower checkoff program.

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MTGA Announces Steve Olson’s Departure After Nearly 19 Years of Leadership

For immediate release

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

(Buffalo, Minn.) … It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Board of Directors announces Steve Olson’s departure as Executive Director, effective June 28, 2019.

Since 2000, Olson has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization.

“We will miss Steve and his inspiring leadership,” said MTGA President Paul Kvistad, a turkey farmer from Wood Lake, Minn. “We wish him the best of luck in this next chapter of his life and we thank him for almost 19 years of dedicated service.”

Olson’s accomplishments included:

  • The growth of Turkey To Go, MTGA’s State Fair food stand, as a major revenue stream for MTGA programs;
  • More than doubling the size of the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention, which has become the largest trade show in the U.S. that is 100% focused on poultry and was recently named one of the 50 fastest growing trade shows in the country;
  • Meeting the challenges of the highly-pathogenic avian influenza outbreak that hit Minnesota in 2015, which was the largest foreign animal disease outbreak the U.S. has ever seen;
  • Creation of a Student Careers Program two years ago for the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention to help attract a new workforce to the turkey industry.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my nearly 19 years with MTGA, especially getting to know the growers, their families, and the organization’s allied members,” said Olson. “This is truly a special industry, and it’s been rewarding to work with growers and our talented staff.”

Olson is looking forward to his next opportunities. “I wish MTGA continued success and appreciate the support I’ve had from growers, allied members, staff and our partners at the University, Board of Animal Health and other farm organizations.”

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 42.5 million turkeys in 2018. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further information, visit http://www.minnesotaturkey.com/ .

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Governor Walz Proclaims June 24-28 as “Minnesota Turkey Growers Week” for MTGA’s 80th Anniversary

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director

763/682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Buffalo, MN (June 24, 2019) – Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed the week of June 24-28 as “Minnesota Turkey Growers Week” in honor of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’s (MTGA) 80th anniversary.

MTGA was formed in 1939 by a group of turkey farmers from across the state who wanted to create a more formal organization for education, research, product promotion, and connecting growers with each other.

“The founding farmers of MTGA had the vision and foresight to create an organization that ultimately helped the industry grow into the powerhouse it is today,” said MTGA President and turkey farmer Paul Kvistad, Wood Lake, MN. “They were truly visionary leaders in terms of what they saw was possible for turkey production in Minnesota.”

Even in those early years, the partnership turkey farmers formed with the University of Minnesota was instrumental in building the organization and strengthening all aspects of turkey production – including nutrition, bird care and animal husbandry, and bird health.  That partnership – along with the relationship built with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health – remains at the core of the MTGA mission to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota for growers as well as a provide, safe, delicious, affordable protein for consumers around the world.

“These partnerships combined with the entrepreneurial spirit and wherewithal of Minnesota’s turkey farmers and turkey companies – both in terms of on-the-farm production and product development –  is an incredible part of MTGA’s history,” said Kvistad.

Approximately 450 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 42 million birds annually. Minnesota remains steadfast at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production. Current U.S. turkey production stands at approximately 242 million annually – which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 18% of all U.S. turkeys

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 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 42.5 million turkeys in 2018. 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).

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Meet Our Families: Special 80th Anniversary Video Project

For Immediate Release

May 15, 2019

Contact: Lara Durben

(Buffalo, Minn.) … To commemorate its 80th anniversary, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has released the first of several videos highlighting some of its many families who have made an impact on the turkey industry.

“As we looked at ways we can celebrate MTGA’s 80 years of existence, it became readily apparent that sharing the stories of some of our members was the best way to do this,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “MTGA was formed by a group of turkey farmers in 1939 who wanted a way to connect, collaborate, and learn from other farmers like them. While plenty has changed in agriculture and farming over the past eight decades, one thing remains constant: MTGA continues to bring farmers and our industry partners together to work together for the betterment of the turkey industry.”

The first video showcases the Rothfork family of Melrose, Minn., which includes Pete and Patti Rothfork and their daughter, Jes Westbrock and her husband, Andy and their three children. The family works together to raise turkeys and operate a feed mill in Melrose. You can view the video here to learn about how they got started in raising turkeys and how they are building their future in agriculture together.

The Rothfork video and all future 80th anniversary family videos will be posted on the MinnesotaTurkey.com website and MTGA’s YouTube Channel. You can also follow Minnesota Turkey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@minnesotaturkey) to make sure you don’t miss any of the videos over the course of the next several weeks. The video project will culminate in a special 80th anniversary celebration at MTGA’s Summer Conference for members, June 26-28.

“MTGA would also like to thank one of our long-time partners, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, for assisting with our 80th video project,” said Olson.

Minnesota is the nation’s top turkey producer, with approximately 450 turkey farmers raising around 45 million turkeys annually. For more information about Minnesota Turkey, please visit MinnesotaTurkey.com.

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MTGA Welcomes Pam Debele as New Ag Program Specialist / Membership Coordinator

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171  |  E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MINN) … Pam Debele of St. Michael, Minn., has joined the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) as its Ag Program Specialist and Membership Coordinator. Her Pam Debele, Minnesota Turkey Growers Associationfirst day on the job was January 14.

Pam comes to MTGA most recently from the Milwaukee area, where she worked as the Interim 4-H Youth Development Program Advisor for the third largest 4-H program in Wisconsin. While there, she co-coordinated program for 1,200 youth 4-H members and 250 adult volunteers. Previous to that position, Pam worked as the communication specialist for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation in Eagan, Minn. She is very familiar with all the agriculture commodity organizations in Minnesota and will bring a wealth of knowledge in program planning for both youth and adults as well as communications to the MTGA and our other organizations.

Pam grew up on a farm in the Dassel-Cokato area, received her BS degree in Agricultural Industries and Marketing from the University of Minnesota, and was a Minnesota State Officer for the National FFA organization. MTGA is thrilled to welcome her on board and she can be reached at  pdebele@minnesotaturkey.com and 763/682-2171.

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Statement on New Commissioner of Agriculture for Minnesota

Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Statement on Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Appointment

The following statement may be attributed to Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Executive Director Steve Olson regarding the appointment of Thom Peterson as Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner.

“Congratulations to Thom Peterson on his appointment as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture. Our organization has enjoyed working with him throughout his years at Minnesota Farmers Union and we know his knowledge of Minnesota agriculture and all that it encompasses will serve our state’s farmers and ranchers well. He is deeply familiar with the many facets of agriculture in Minnesota and his experience working with the legislative process will be an asset to agriculture and Governor-Elect Tim Walz.”

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Minnesota Turkey Donates 12,350 Pounds of Turkey to Hunger Solutions Minnesota

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Lara Durben, MTGA Communications Director

763/682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Buffalo, MN (November 21, 2018) – Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) – the nonprofit organization that represents the state’s turkey farmers and turkey companies – has announced a donation of 12,350 pounds of turkey products to Hunger Solutions Minnesota.

President Chris Huisinga, a turkey farmer from Renville, Minn., says the turkey products will be distributed to food shelves and food banks across Greater Minnesota.

“Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday for Minnesota’s turkey farmers – all about tradition and giving thanks for our many blessings,” said Huisinga. “Many Minnesota families, however, struggle to put food on their tables. Through our annual partnership with HSM, we hope to help ease that struggle over the holidays.”

For Huisinga and his wife, Joi, this donation is even more special to them as they are wrapping up their first full year as turkey farmers. Huisinga has more than 70 years of turkey farming in his family history, and in 2017, he and his wife joined that legacy by starting a new farm.

“Farming and extending the family legacy in agriculture is important to us. We are grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given to raise turkeys,” said Huisinga. “Because we have so many blessings, we feel it’s important to give back to those who may need some extra help, and our fellow turkey farmers in Minnesota join us in that commitment.”

Since 2001, MTGA has donated over 286,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state, which will feed 381,000 people in Minnesota. These product contributions have been made possible 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.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota, a comprehensive hunger relief organization that works to end hunger in Minnesota, will coordinate the purchase and distribution of the turkey. One in six Minnesota families struggles to put healthy meals on their tables.  The need for emergency food relief continues to be a problem in Minnesota.

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.

Approximately 450 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 42.5 million birds annually. Minnesota remains steadfast at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.

Current U.S. turkey production stands at approximately 242 million annually – which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 18% of all U.S. turkeys. Approximately 88% 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 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 42.5 million turkeys in 2018. 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. HSM’s 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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18 Fun Facts for the 2018 State Fair – Minnesota Turkey and Turkey To Go

For immediate release

Contact:

Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

Ph: 763/682-2171 (office), 612/554-0920 (mobile)

ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

  1. Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has been serving up turkey at the Minnesota State Fair for 60 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.

 

  1. (Throwback) Beginning in 1958, MTGA began serving turkey from a concession stand located on the east side of the poultry barn. The first food stand, called “Turkeyteria” (think cafeteria) was a simple, canvas-covered frame.

 

  1. (Throwback) Food offerings to fairgoers have changed over the years but a few highlights include: roast turkey sandwiches with gravy (1950s and 1960s), extremely popular turkey tenderloin-on-a-stick (1970s and 1980s), turkey nuggets (1990s) and in 1999, the Great Big Turkey Sandwich was introduced and remains our focus and fan favorite today!

 

  1. Our menu:
  • Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($7.75)
  • Half Pound Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich ($9.50)
  • Turkey Ribs ($9.50) – Flavors include original, sweet glazed, or buffalo
  • Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumstick (Original, Sweet Glazed & Buffalo – $9.50)
  • Turkey by the Pound – Frozen Turkey To Go product that you can take home with you! ($16.75 per pound)
  • Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich – Our signature Turkey To Go product, an egg, and slice of American cheese on a bun ($7.75 or add optional turkey bacon for an additional $1.00)
  • Toppings: bleu cheese & buffalo sauce; brie & cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon & sweet glaze ($2.50)

 

  1. A portion of every sale goes to Hunger Solutions Minnesota. Since 2008, TTG has donated nearly $70,000.

 

  1. Turkey To Go is located next to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand (1256 Clough Street).

 

  1. Turkey To Go was named the People’s Choice Award for “Best Food or Beverage” at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair!

 

  1. Turkey to Go by the numbers:
  • We expect to cook approximately 40,000 pounds of turkey at Turkey To Go this year.
  • From 2011-2017, Turkey To Go sold a total of 320,443 Giant Juicy Turkey sandwiches and 78,016 Slow-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks!

 

  1. Our Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich (eaten without the bun) and Jumbo Turkey Drumstick are gluten-free.

 

  1. Don’t forget about our breakfast sandwich, which debuted in 2015 – the “Tasty Turkey Sunrise Sandwich” that includes our famous Turkey To Go pulled turkey, an egg, slice of American cheese on choice of bun Turkey bacon can also be added for an additional $1.00.

 

  1. Turkey To Go also has locations at Target Field. Up-to-date location information can be found at twitter.com/turkeytogo or visit www.turkeytogo.com for details.
    • Target Field – Turkey To Go is behind home plate between sections 112 and 113 as well as outside Section 318.

 

  1. Turkeys raised in the 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. (and there hasn’t been since the 1950s) and they aren’t needed. Genetics and excellent nutrition make all the difference!

 

  1. Minnesota is ranked #1 for turkey production, processing, and hatching in the U.S. and is home to 450 turkey farmers who raise approximately 44 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 4th, 5th, and 6th generation farmers.

 

  1. MTGA was formed in 1939 as 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.

 

  1. Nutritionally, turkey has more protein than chicken or beef – plus fewer calories with zero trans- and saturated fat.

 

  1. MTGA’s Web site – minnesotaturkey.com – features links to turkey recipes for consumers and the foodservice industry. We also have recipes at our State Fair booth in the Dairy Building.

 

  1. Producing a quality, nutritious and safe product is the top priority for turkey farmers as well as turkey processing companies, which follow USDA guidelines 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.

 

  1. Find us on the Web at com or MinnesotaTurkey.com and on social media:

 

facebook.com/TurkeyToGo and facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey

Twitter – @TurkeyToGo and @MinnesotaTurkey

Pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey

Instagram – @MinnesotaTurkey and @TurkeyToGo

 

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