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State Aid Set for Minnesota Turkey Farmers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Groos
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA)
Ph: 763-682-2171 (office)
rgroos@minnesotaturkey.com

Application deadline is December 1, 2020

BUFFALO, Minn. – The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association has been working for months with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to secure financial assistance to Minnesota turkey farmers impacted by the COVID pandemic. This week, MDA unveiled the Turkey Market Loss Cost-Share Program to help turkey farmers and the industry weather what has been a challenging time for farm families.

“As a third-generation turkey farmer, you think you have seen it all. However, COVID has put a strain on farmers that no one could have prepared for and we are grateful for this aid,” said Paul Kvistad, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association President and farmer from Wood Lake.

MDA’s Turkey Market Loss Cost-Share Program provides financial assistance to farmers who marketed fewer liveweight pounds during March – September 2020 due to COVID-19. To mitigate losses during the pandemic, the industry pivoted quickly and utilized several different options. These decisions meant farmers saw a loss in production – putting a squeeze on farm families.

“While our farmers live with risk every day and roll with the punches, this aid from Governor Tim Walz and Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen is the shot in the arm we needed heading into our most important season – Thanksgiving,” said Sarah Anderson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

Turkey farmers uncertain of whether they qualify for funds should first review the application on the MDA website at: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/turkey-market-loss-cost-share. Questions about securing the necessary liveweight pounds statement from the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council should be directed to info@minnesotaturkey.com or call 763-682-2171.

All applications must be received by December 1, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Funding for the cost-share program was made possible by the federal CARES Act provided to Minnesota by Congress and distributed by Governor Tim Walz.

The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) is a trade group representing over 450 turkey farmers across the state. Many of our farmers 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).

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Learn about Poultry Farming at Minnesota State Fair

For immediate release

Contact:                                                                                                      

  • Lara Durben, Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council
  • Ph: 763/682-2171 (office) or 612/554-0920 (cell)
  • ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN) … The Minnesota State Fair is the place to be to learn about poultry farming, with multiple locations throughout the fairgrounds dedicated to turkeys, chickens and egg laying hens.

The Poultry Barn – located on Clough Street across the street from Turkey To Go concession stand – will not be displaying live birds this year because of the highly-pathogenic avian influenza outbreak. However, there is a wealth of information planned for this space on Minnesota’s turkey farmers, including:

  • Watch “A Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video , as farmer Scott Heymer of Red Bridge Farms, Princeton, Minnesota, walks you through the typical tasks of his day while also talking about the priorities of bird health, food safety, and protecting the environment. (View here: https://minnesotaturkey.com/farmers/farmer-videos/)
  • Take a “Turkey Selfie” in front of a photo backdrop of turkeys.
  • Thank a farmer by writing a postcard, generously provided by the Minnesota State Fair. Your card will be delivered to one of the many poultry farmers in Minnesota.
  • View the informative banners and other information about avian influenza and poultry production
  • Listen to presentations on poultry by veterinarians, farmers and others.

Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council’s booth in the Dairy Building will feature:

  • A large pictorial display on the history of turkey farming
  • A comprehensive look at how turkey products get to your kitchen table
  • A fun turkey-cutout of a tom (male) and hen (female) turkey for photos
  • Free recipe cards and other brochures

Both the popular Miracle of Birth Center and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s booth in the Horticulture Building will display several informative banners on avian influenza and poultry production.

And don’t miss Gobble Gobble Cluck Cluck Day on Thursday, September 3 at the Christensen Farms Stage next to the Miracle of Birth Center, where a variety of fun and interactive activities will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.:

  • Minute to Win It – Gobble Gobble Cluck Cluck Edition – a game show (with prizes!) for all ages where folks can hone their skills at an egg tower, feather challenge, ponginator, corn/soybean sort, and more!
  • Gobble Gobble Cluck Cluck Trivia Challenge – test your knowledge of all things poultry and win prizes!
  • Poultry Dance – Join Tom and Tillie Turkey as they dance their tailfeathers off to the ever-popular Chicken Dance!

“While live poultry will not be shown at the State Fair this year due to the highly-pathogenic avian influenza outbreak hitting Minnesota’s poultry industry this past spring, we’re confident that we have a variety of activities, displays, and information available for fairgoers who are interested in poultry farming,” said MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson. “We are  especially grateful for the support and efforts of the Minnesota State Fair, FFA, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and 4-H organizations as we all worked together to make this a positive poultry experience for fairgoers.”

About Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC)

The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council is an organization of turkey farmers that is recognized as a leading source for the latest turkey information.  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. MTRPC is the first agriculture checkoff organization in Minnesota’s history.

The state ranks #1 for turkey production and processing in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 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 3rd, 4th and 5th generation farmers.

For more information, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com or www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey.  You can also find Minnesota Turkey on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/MinnesotaTurkey).

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