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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.

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Turkey Farmers Honored with Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored three turkey farmers with its 2017 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

Scott Heymer, Princeton, Minn., Wayne Knudsen, New London, Minn., and Paul Kvistad, Wood Lake, Minn. were given the award for their farm advocacy efforts on behalf of the MTGA.

Both Heymer and Knudsen opened up their farms for two “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video projects for Minnesota Turkey. Kvistad worked with Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom to conduct MTGA’s first ever virtual farm tour last November.

“Putting yourself in front of an audience you can’t see takes a leap of faith,” said MTGA and MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson. “We are grateful that we have farmers like Scott, Wayne, and Paul who are willing to share their farm stories to a larger audience – many of whom are far removed from the farm and food production.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

For more information about the Promoter of the Year Award or the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council, please call 763/682-2171, email info@minnesotaturkey.com or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTRPC

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.

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Minnesota State Fair, Minnesota 4-H Program Honored with Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lara Durben (Email | 763-682-2171)

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored The Minnesota State Fair and the University of Minnesota Extension’s 4-H program with

2016 Turkey Promoters of the Year: UMN Extension Dean Bev Durgan, MN State Fair Executive Director Jerry Hammer, and MN 4-H Program Director Brad Rugg (featured with MTRPC President Robert Orsten, far left).

2016 Turkey Promoters of the Year: UMN Extension Dean Bev Durgan, MN State Fair Executive Director Jerry Hammer, and MN 4-H Program Director Brad Rugg (featured with MTRPC President Robert Orsten, far left).

its 2016 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

The outbreak of hgighly-pathogenic avian influenza in the spring of 2015 created disruptions not only for farmers but for 4-Hers and FFA members raising and showing poultry as part of their projects. When a decision was made to cancel all poultry exhibitions for the immediate future to protect the health of poultry across the state, the Minnesota State Fair and University of Minnesota Extension, and Minnesota 4-H stepped in and worked with MTRPC and others to create a “Science of Poultry” exhibit.

“This exhibit ran during the Minnesota State Fair in the 4-H Poultry Barn,” said MTRPC President Robert Orsten, a turkey farmer from Willmar, Minn. The exhibit included poster boards by 4-Hers, presentations by poultry industry professionals, a “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video, and banners with influenza, biosecurity, and poultry-raising information.

“The efforts of Extension and the Minnesota State Fair successfully made the experience positive for 4-Hers, consumers, and Minnesota’s poultry farmers,” said Orsten. “We are grateful for the support and assistance of these organizations, especially during this very challenging time for our industry.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 16 in Saint Paul, Minn. Representatives in attendance included Dean of Extension Bev Durgan, Minnesota State Fair General MNager Jerry Hammer, and Director of Minnesota 4-H Brad Rugg.

For more information about the Promoter of the Year Award or the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council, please call 763/682-2171, email info@minnesotaturkey.com or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTRPC

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.

Doug & Linda Hedlund, Roseau, Minn., Receive Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben, (763) 682-2171 or  ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Doug & Linda Hedlund, Roseau, Minn., Receive Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

Doug and Linda Hedlund

Doug and Linda Hedlund

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored Doug and Linda Hedlund of Roseau, Minn., with its 2013 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

The Hedlunds are 2nd generation turkey farmers who raise 60,000 turkeys annually for the farmer-owned Northern Pride Cooperative out of Thief River Falls, Minn.  In addition to their farm, however, Doug and Linda took over managing concessions at the Roseau hockey arena 33 years ago. About 15 years ago the two added turkey wings to the menu. When those proved to be a bit too labor intensive, they switched to a bone-in turkey breast sandwich served on a hamburger bun, which remains an extremely popular menu item today.

The Hedlunds also cater weddings, graduations, reunions and company picnics.

“Doug and Linda have done an outstanding job showing that turkey is a delicious option all year-round, said said MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson.  “Their passion for promoting turkey through their concession stand and catering business is inspiring and we appreciate the work they are doing on behalf of the turkey industry.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 13 in Saint Paul, Minn.

For more information about the Promoter of the Year Award or the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council, please call 763/682-2171, email info@minnesotaturkey.com or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

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