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:
Minnesota FFA Association:
MN FFA Alumni Association:
FFA Creed:


Learn about Poultry Farming at Minnesota State Fair

For immediate release


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

(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:
  • 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 or  You can also find Minnesota Turkey on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey) and Pinterest (

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Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Honored

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171


Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Honored

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored five individuals this year for their extraordinary promotion of Minnesota turkey and their dedication and commitment to the goals of the association.

Receiving the 2012 MTGA President’s Award are:

  • Brianna Hoover
  • Brenna Ahlquist
  • Preston Asche
  • Val Brown
  • Jennifer Baumgartner

Brianna, Brenna, Preston and Val are Willmar High School students and FFA members who were instrumental to the success of the 2011 President Turkey project that was coordinated by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Willmar Poultry Company and the National Turkey Federation.

The students cared daily for a special flock of turkeys last fall, two of which were destined for a trip to the White House to be pardoned by President Barack Obama. In addition to the daily care and human interaction the birds needed in order to be trained for any Presidential duties, the students also made educational school visits in the Twin Cities, conducted media interviews, and even blogged about their experiences raising the Presidential turkeys.

Jennifer Baumgartner, whose full-time role with Life-Science Innovations and Willmar Poultry Company includes communications & employee relations, was honored for her hard work and efforts in organizing the students and their busy schedules, assisting MTGA with photos and video-taping, coordinating on-site media stories in Willmar, and serving as a chaperone to Washington DC, where she and the FFA students witnessed the Presidential pardon of the official National Thanksgiving Turkey.

“This entire project was made even more special because of these FFA students and the assistance of Jenn Baumgartner,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “We appreciated the time and work they all did to make sure this project went off without a hitch. They were excellent spokespeople for Minnesota’s turkey farmers.”

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’ s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 14.

For more information on the MTGA or its President’s Award program, please contact the MTGA at (763) 682-2171 or visit

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 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit