Episode #9 – Scoop on Poop!

What The Cluck! - the podcast of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

In this episode, host Steve Olson is joined by Dr. Melissa Wilson, Assistant Professor of Manure Management and Water Quality at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Sally Noll, an Extension Poultry Specialist from the University of Minnesota, and Paul Kvistad, Vice President of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. The four discuss the importance of manure to farmers and the soil, its nutritional content for crops, manure management, and current and pending manure research.


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


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 or visit



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.


U of MN: Economic impact of avian flu at nearly $310 million as of May 11

Source: University of Minnesota Extension

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077,

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (5/18/2015)–Losses in poultry production and related businesses due to avian influenza are estimated at $309.9 million in Greater Minnesota, according to a newly released emergency economic impact analysis from University of Minnesota Extension.

Using economic modeling, analysts determined that for every million dollars in direct losses, the estimated ripple effect leads to $1.8 million in overall economic losses, including $450,000 in wages. Ripple effect losses stem from factors including reduced wage-earner and business-to-business spending.

The Extension analysis put losses of poultry production–both turkeys and egg-laying chickens–at $113 million as of May 11.

“These projections represent where we stand as of May 11,” said Brigid Tuck, Extension senior analyst, who led the study. “If the virus affects more farms, as we have seen since May 11, the impact levels will rise. If barns stay empty for another cycle of poultry production, these numbers could potentially double”

Poultry production and processing is a $3 billion industry in the state; overall, poultry growers represent about 7 percent of the agricultural and forestry economy. The study focuses on the state’s 80 non-metro counties, where nearly all poultry production occurs. Among Extension’s other findings:

  • The industry that produces feed for poultry and other animals will be hardest hit by poultry production losses. For every $1 million of lost poultry production, nearly $230,000 of demand for poultry feed is lost.
  • For every 100 jobs lost due to reduced poultry processing, 9 are in the trucking industry.
  • Other job losses related to poultry processing are 6 and 7 per 100 jobs, respectively, in wholesale trade and specialized poultry processing.

The idling of 100 poultry processing jobs will result in an estimated 210 jobs being affected across all industries. Economic losses stemming per 100 poultry processing jobs impacted are estimated at $44.8 million, including $9.3 million in labor income.

Researchers noted that insurance and government compensation for producers may help alleviate losses for poultry producers, though the impact on other industries will not be offset.

“We know avian influenza is devastating, emotionally and financially, for growers and those whose businesses are connected to the poultry industry. These early estimates show its impact on farmers, Main Street, the industry and the state,” said economist Kent Olson, associate dean of Extension’s Center for Community Vitality. “This analysis is an initial look at the short- to immediate-term picture to give decision-makers context. We recommended a more detailed analysis take place once the avian influenza outbreak reaches a conclusion.”

About this report: University of Minnesota Extension senior economic impact analyst Brigid Tuck prepared this report using input-output analysis, which traces the flow of goods and services in an economy.

The report represents data occurring up to May 11, 2015. Projections were calculated based on data including 2014 poultry industry figures. Jobs include full-time, part-time and seasonal. Support from the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston helped fund this report.

An explanation of the economic impact modeling, as well as other considerations, can be found in the full report or at

For more news from U of M Extension, visit or contact Extension Communications at University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.