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Minnesota Turkey Meeting Features COVID Aid to Farmers Discussion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson gave an update on Congressional Action

BUFFALO, Minn. – For the first time in their 81-year history, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) held their annual meetings virtually. MTGA and MTRPC leadership provided updates regarding their efforts to support fellow turkey growers and the industry.

“Our organizations put a lot of time and resources into research, workforce development, and education that benefits the entire turkey industry,” said Sarah Anderson, MTGA Executive Director. “The annual meetings give us an opportunity to report on our successes and receive feedback from our members for the future. The strong attendance shows our members value these updates and the new format allowed for greater participation.”

Congressman Collin Peterson who represents the 7th Congressional District – an area that represents many turkey growers – was the featured guest speaker. Peterson briefly spoke on his involvement with facilitating COVID-19 relief for turkey growers and the next COVID aid bill.

“The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payment is based on how much damage was done by the coronavirus,” said Congressman Peterson. “There were a number of folks who didn’t get treated correctly for the program, in my opinion, including turkey growers.”

For the next round of COVID-19 related assistance, Peterson has drafted language giving U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue the authority to compensate producers for euthanizing animals – much like what growers experience during times of disease outbreaks. In his speech, Peterson also said one of the outstanding issues is that payments are limited to independent producers.

“There is going to be some effort to clarify this over at the Senate and if there is better language, I am all for it and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure that ends up in the final deal,” said Peterson. MTGA is a nonprofit trade organization that began in 1939 with a mission to foster a successful turkey industry in Minnesota. The state ranks number one for turkey production in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers. Minnesota has the most family-owned turkey farms of any state in the U.S. and many are fourth, fifth, or sixth generation farmers.

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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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.