Genetics vs. Gene Modification: A Useful Tutorial!

One of our allied members, Hendrix- Genetics (which owns Hybrid Turkeys), posted this terrific video showing a great explanation of genetics versus gene modification. Since not all of us are science people around here, we thought you might like to view it too. It’s a quick video that helps dispel a lot of the confusion between these two terms. Check it out!

Looking for more information? Visit the Hendrix Genetics website and Facebook page! You can find Hybrid Turkeys here and here.

Minnesota Turkey: A Trusted Source of Information

Recently Fair Oaks Farm – a major dairy and pork agritourism operation in Indiana – was targeted by animal activists. Hannah Thompson-Weeman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance wrote an outstanding blog post for Meatingplace.com on Fair Oaks Farm’s response, which was exactly right at the exact right time.

Hannah wrote: “I’d like to commend Fair Oaks on its bold, transparent approach. The company quickly issued a public statement via social media to inform customers and others about the situation and has continued to respond to comments and publish additional content related to the matter, including video commentary from the owners. While the statement has attracted some of the usual comments from activists, it has also drawn out responses from strong supporters of the farm.”

Hannah went on to write that because Fair Oaks took such a quick, proactive approach to the situation, they were able to essentially “own” their own narrative. And interestingly enough, the animal activist group has not even released the video yet – likely because they are rethinking their strategies, according to Hannah.

All of this speaks to the importance of building up a “trust bank” when it comes to customers and consumers.

According to Hannah: “Fair Oaks has made countless deposits to its trust bank over the years through each positive customer interaction, and now the brand is able to draw against that goodwill and be trusted to handle this situation appropriately.”

This is exactly what Minnesota Turkey does each and every day as we create written and video content about growers and their farms, and we post to our social media platforms and our website. We want consumers to get to know the farmers and turkey companies; we want to show them all the ways Minnesotas turkey farmers strive to do what’s right – with their birds, with their products, with their businesses, with their family farms.

Why is this important?  We can look no further than the 2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak or the recent salmonella recall on ground turkey last November to see it makes a difference. Consumers look to Minnesota Turkey as a trusted source of information and their comments to us on social media suggest they are strong supporters of what you do.  And the relationships we have built with reporters over the years has been paramount to making sure our messages are heard.

We take all of this very seriously. We strive to be honest, transparent, and we want to earn that trust. We will continue to build turkey’s “trust bank”. And know that we will be ready to address our industry’s critics if we need to on behalf of our members.

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Episode #21: Egg nutrition and education during Easter

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

In episode #21 of What The Cluck! Podcast, host Steve Olson is joined by Ashley Richardson, Senior Director of Marketing Communications for the American Egg Board (a check-off organization funded by American egg farmers). The conversation kicks off discussing the Egg Nutrition Center, the Egg Safety Center, and AEB’s iconic brand – the Incredible Egg. Learn how the egg is a nutrition powerhouse at an affordable price point. AEB is involved in several education activities during the year and with Easter coming up, Ashley highlights the 141st annual White House Easter Egg Roll and presenting the 41st Commemorative Egg. Lastly, the two discuss eggs in schools and how AEB works with key influencers including nutritionists and registered dietitians.

Find Easter egg recipes and egg decorating tips at www.incredibleegg.org/Easter.

To learn more about the American Egg Board, go to www.aeb.org
To learn more about their sister site, Incredible Egg, go to www.incredibleegg.org
Or find them on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram

Meet UMASH!

What is UMASH?

Get to know us – We’re UMASH

(Note from the blog editor: We thought this would be a great opportunity for you to get to know UMASH and what it does to keep farmers and workers free of injuries. Read on to find out more!)

The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is all about keeping farmers, farm families, and workers injury free and healthy in their occupation.  The center began in 2011 with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  Here is a brief video, which describes our center and the work that we do.

http://umash.umn.edu/resources/product/umash-video/?

Over the last year UMASH has worked with others on supporting farmers during this low economic time by bringing attention to stress, depression, anxiety and other effects of the downturn.   We have a stress and mental health page on our website dedicated to this purpose.  Here you will find items such as:

  • Farm Safety Check on Stress and Wellness
  • Signs and Symptoms of Stress
  • Helpline numbers
  • Recorded webinars on Cultivating Resiliency (a partner project)
  • Resources from other partners both nationally and in the Midwest

Get to know us more by visiting our website and learning about the additional safety and health resources we offer.  Questions?  Email us at umash@umn.edu or call us at 612.625.8836

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Episode #20: Turkey Genetics Part 2 | Turkey mini-series ep. 3

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

In episode #20 of What The Cluck! Podcast, host Steve Olson interviews Paige Rohlf, geneticist and Research & Development Manager for Aviagen Turkeys. The two discuss turkey genetics and the importance of genomics and biotechnology in producing turkey products for consumers. Primary breeders in the turkey industry are committed to researching and investing in science and technology to increase the genetic rate of improvement passed down to commercial turkey populations.

This is the third episode in our first ever “Turkey mini-series” that focuses on different aspects of raising turkeys.

To learn more about Aviagen Turkeys: http://www.aviagenturkeys.us
To learn more about Hendrix Genetics and Hybrid Turkeys (a second, well-known, primary turkey breeding company):
https://www.hendrix-genetics.com/en/animalbreeding/turkey-breeding/
https://www.hybridturkeys.com

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Episode #19: Turkey Genetics Part 1 | Turkey mini-series ep. 2

In episode #19 of What The Cluck! Podcast, host Steve Olson interviews Dr. Owen Willems, Director of R&D for Hendrix Genetics & Hybrid Turkeys. The two discuss turkey genetics from the standpoint of a primary turkey breeding company and the practicality is has on the farm for turkey growers purchasing breeder hens and/or growing out commercial poults. Learn more about the science of how genetics plays a role in the turkey that makes it to your table and the goals for breeding the turkey of the future.

This is the second episode in our first ever “Turkey mini-series” that focuses on different aspects of raising turkeys.

To learn more about:
Hendrix Genetics (primary turkey breeding company): https://www.hendrix-genetics.com/en/animalbreeding/turkey-breeding/
Hybrid Turkeys: https://www.hybridturkeys.com
Turkey Genetics 101 Webinar, created by Hybrid Turkeys & Hendrix Genetics: https://vimeo.com/255432240
Aviagen Turkeys (primary turkey breeding company): http://www.aviagenturkeys.us

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

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Episode #18: Turkey Breeders | Turkey mini-series ep. 1

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

Have you ever wondered what it takes to own and manage a turkey breeder farm? Episode #18 of What The Cluck! Podcast is all about turkey breeders and the care and precision required to raise these hens for producing poults. Host Steve Olson is joined by Dr. Michelle Behl, Director of Poult Quality for Select Genetics in Willmar, Minn. and Loren “Butch” Brey, owner of Brey Farms in Sleepy Eye, Minn. The three discuss the egg laying process, hatching, incubation and poultry quality.

This is the first episode of six in our first ever “Turkey mini-series” that focuses on different aspects of raising turkeys.

Learn more about turkey breeders and farming at the following links:

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Episode #17: National FFA Week – Celebrating memories & experiences

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

Episode #17 of What The Cluck! Podcast is all about celebrating National FFA Week! Host Steve Olson is joined by Protein Alliance owner Jeff Stauffenecker, former Minnesota State FFA officer Pam Debele, and 2018-2019 Minnesota State FFA President Grace Taylor as each conversation shares fond FFA memories and experiences. Learn how FFA positively impacted each guest’s educational background and now influences his/her career path. Don’t forget to promote National FFA Week all over social media this week, February 16-23, using #FFAWeek and #FFAJustOne.

Learn more about…
National FFA Organization: @nationalffawww.ffa.org
Minnesota FFA Association: @mnffawww.mnffa.org
MN FFA Alumni Association: @MNFFAAlumniwww.mnffaalumni.org
FFA Creed: www.ffa.org/about/ffa-creed/

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Episode #16: 2019 MPF Convention and why you need to be there!

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

In episode #16 of What The Cluck! Podcast, host Steve Olson interviews MPF Events & Exhibits Manager Teresa Sorenson and long-time MPF attendee and current Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council President, Kim Halvorson. Learn why the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention is a can’t miss event as a poultry grower or processor! As a grower herself, Kim shares about the stellar education program and the value attendees receive from this continuing education, in addition to exploring the MPF exhibit halls and learning about the latest technology to bring back to your flocks and employees. Receive a behind-the-scenes look into the planning that goes into MPF, the maxed out exhibit halls, why Unhatched is a high energy event perfect to cap off your MPF experience, and the Student Careers Program from Teresa. Register today to attend at www.midwestpoultry.com.

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Episode #15 – Leveraging social media and consumer outreach in agriculture

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

In the latest episode of What The Cluck! Podcast, host Steve Olson interviews Wanda Patsche, a farm partner in CW Pork, Inc. and Lara Durben, Communications Director for the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota. As social media experts, Wanda and Lara discuss fitting social media into their typical day, tips for managing multiple social media pages and the best way to reach consumers through social media including advice for those aiming to increase social media presence. Additionally, the experts discuss building a social media presence through blogging, videos, and maintaining good relationships with digital followers.