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Turkey Farmer John Burkel is Elected to the Minnesota House


Rebecca Groos
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA)
Ph: 763-682-2171 (office)

Representative-elect Burkel Begins Term in January

Photo Credit: Burkel For House

BUFFALO, Minn. – Past President of Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and former National Turkey Federation Executive Committee member John Burkel won election to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Burkel, a turkey farmer from Badger, will represent citizens from District 1A which covers the northwest corner of Minnesota including Kittson, Marshall, and Roseau counties and a portion of Pennington county.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work on the issues important to my area including restarting the economy by creating jobs, keeping taxes and regulations in check, and protecting our way of life,” said Burkel.

Burkel is a fourth-generation turkey farmer. He served 20 years on the Northern Pride board of directors – a grower-owned processing facility in Thief Rivers Falls. Burkel served as the chairman of the Northern Pride board for the last five years – stepping down from the position to run for the Legislature.

According to our research, Burkel is the first turkey farmer to serve in the Minnesota Legislature since 1966.

“We are excited to have Burkel in the Legislature,” said MTGA President Paul Kvistad. “He understands the challenges of turkey farming and agriculture overall.”

Minnesota is the largest producer of turkeys in the nation.  We are also home to the largest hatchery business and second largest processor in the nation.  Turkey farming contributes over $1 billion to the state’s economy and generates more than 26,000 jobs.

“Our turkey farmers put food on the table of Minnesotans and families across the globe,” said MTGA Executive Director Sarah Anderson. “COVID has made this task more challenging and that is why it is so important to have a farmer like John serving in the Legislature and giving voice for rural communities.”

MTGA is a trade association representing over 450 turkey farmers across the state. Many of our growers come from multi-generational family farms. Our organization also represents turkey processors and industry stakeholders. Together, we advocate for the interests of the Minnesota turkey farmer and industry as a whole.

To learn more about MTGA visit https://minnesotaturkey.com/. Find us on Facebook (@MinnesotaTurkey), Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Instagram (MinnesotaTurkey) and YouTube (MinnesotaTurkey).