, ,

Isanti County Turkey Farmer Joins Congressman Pete Stauber to Share Coronavirus Challenges


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

Scott Heymer Represented Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

BUFFALO, Minn. – Minnesota Turkey Growers Association member Scott Heymer met with Congressman Pete Stauber at a Stanchfield farm recently to share the challenges presented by the pandemic for turkey farmers across the district and statewide. Joining Heymer and Stauber was Minnesota Turkey Growers Executive Director Sarah Anderson.

“The pandemic has been hard on all families – especially our turkey farm families, said Heymer. “Grateful Congressman Stauber invited us to this event and took the time to listen to our concerns and work for assistance in mitigating our losses.”

A 45-year turkey farming veteran and past Vice President of the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council, Heymer conveyed the importance of the turkey industry to Minnesota’s economy. Our state produces the most turkeys in the nation and our farmers and stakeholders contribute more than $1 billion to Minnesota’s economy and generate over 26,000 jobs.

Joining the Congressman was the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The tour was an opportunity to learn about the operations and conservation practices on the Don and Shaun Fiedler’s farm. Congressman Stauber and Administrator Wheeler discussed opportunities for future partnerships and best conservation practices with those in attendance.

“Minnesota’s turkey industry is constantly working to improve methods and conserve resources,” said MTGA Executive Director Anderson. “Our farmers financially support research at the University of Minnesota on best practices.”

Others on the tour included representatives from corn and pork. A contingency of state lawmakers also joined the group. Senators Mark Koran and Carrie Ruud along with Representatives Sondra Erickson, Brian Johnson, Kurt Daudt, Nathan Nelson, and Dale Lueck were present to hear from farmers.

The MTGA is a trade association representing over 450 turkey growers 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 Find us on Facebook (@MinnesotaTurkey), Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey), Instagram (MinnesotaTurkey) and YouTube (MinnesotaTurkey).



Minnesota Turkey Launches 3rd “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” Video

Video focuses on Where the Turkey Life Cycle Begins – On a Breeder Farm

(BUFFALO, MN) – Minnesota turkey grower Loren Brey of Brey Farms was recently featured in “A Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video. This video is part of a series of videos created and published by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) as an effort to promote and educate consumers about the turkey industry. These videos provide an insightful view into the life of a turkey farmer – the challenges and joys of raising turkeys in Minnesota.

Said Steve Olson, MTGA Executive Director: “Transparency is important to many consumers – they want to know where their food comes from, how it’s grown and how it’s processed. Tours of poultry farms are limited due to biosecurity practices that are implemented to protect flock health. To get around this obstacle, the MTGA has put out these videos on their website to provide the public the opportunity to look inside a turkey barn.”

Brey is one of the 450 turkey farmers in the state of Minnesota, and he was thrilled to be able to share his family’s turkey farm on the video. “This is my 30th year in the turkey business. I started picking eggs from the previous owner…and then eventually purchased the farm. It was an honor for me to share my family’s story and life on our farm in this video,” said Brey.

Minnesota ranks number one in turkey production in the United States, producing around 46 million turkeys per year. Turkey farms like Brey’s are where the turkey life cycle begins.

Even though all farms may look different from each other, all farmers pay close attention to bird health. In the video, Brey explains the different practices on his farm to maintain bird health – from biosecurity, barn temperature, ventilation, nutrition, and much more. Farmers go to great measures to ensure good health and well-being of their birds to produce a safe product for consumers.

“As you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal this year, be sure to remember that it may be a Minnesota turkey farmer that helped get the turkey to your table!” said Olson.

Brey’s video can be viewed on or YouTube.
Learn more about Minnesota turkey farm families at

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 450 turkey farmers raising an estimated 46 million turkeys in 2017. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

For further information, visit or find us on Facebook: and Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey).


Our Social Responsibility to the Next Generation

I recently attended a workshop put on by AgriGrowth in St. Cloud that was focused on innovative options for attracting potential employees. The concept that today, there are 4-5 generations working alongside each other in the same workplace was talked about at length. I think all of us have heard the terms “Baby Boomers”, “Generation X” and “Millennials” to name a few.  I found it interesting to generalize the changes in each generation versus each other.  To look at the events, technologies, behavioral traits, etc of each group that helped shaped each generation’s values and beliefs, and see how much they all are different from each other.

One of the theories that I found most interesting was how each generation tends to complain about how the generations after them had things easier, don’t have to work as hard, don’t have a good work ethic, and so on. The thing we need to understand is that it is the responsibility of each generation to shape the next. In essence, if prior generations don’t like how future generations behave, then they have failed in showing them the right way or failed in instilling the same values and beliefs as they had. Now I want to be clear, this is definitely stereotyping each group and not everyone in each generation behaves the same way or has the same beliefs. But I know I am guilty of thinking or saying the younger people today either don’t seem to have the same work ethic or drive as people have had in the past, and I am sure many of you have as well. What I have failed to realize is that it might be my fault or my generations fault and not theirs.

Another example of this theory is Frank Martin, the Head College Basketball Coach at South Carolina University.  He is a very demanding and intense coach.  His team enjoyed a successful, and unexpected, run to the Final Four this past March and he was quoted as saying this along the way:

“You know what makes me sick to my stomach? When I hear grown people say that kids have changed. Kids haven’t changed. Kids don’t know anything about anything. We’ve changed as adults. We demand less of kids. We expect less of kids. We make their lives easier instead of preparing them for what life is truly about. We’re the ones that have changed. To blame kids is a cop-out.”

I don’t know exactly what shapes the values and beliefs of each generation of people in this country.  I do know that I have a pretty major role in helping to shape this within my own household and this is something I will not take for granted.  My children are hopefully going to know what it is like to work a little for things they have and also hopefully they will be able to take pride and see what they can accomplish in a good days work.  If they can do this before they move out of our house, I will feel like I have done my part and I encourage each of you to do the same.