Turkey Day at the Capital

By KBJR News 1

Turkey Day at the Capital

November 20, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 7:18 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A Minnesota-raised tom turkey and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) paid a visit to Governor Mark Dayton today at the State Capital in Saint Paul.

The event was a time-honored tradition, going back more than two decades, of Minnesota's Governor kicking off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota.

"I want to thank Governor Dayton for inviting us here today and continuing the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving and giving thanks for Minnesota's turkey farmers, our state's strong agriculture industry and the abundance of food we provide for the world," said President and turkey farmer Duane Jaenicke, Roseau, Minn.

At the event, Jaenicke announced the donation of 11,150 pounds of turkey - a total of 1,180 whole birds - to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.

"It's been a trying and challenging year for many families who are struggling to make ends meet," Jaenicke. "Minnesota's turkey farmers want to do their part in combating hunger with this donation to Hunger Solutions Minnesota," said Jaenicke. "The turkey we donate today will feed nearly 13,000 people."

Since 2001, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association has donated over 190,000 pounds of turkey to various areas of the state - or enough turkey to feed over 236,000 people. This year, this donation provides turkeys to families in communities such as Cannon Falls, Faribault, Melrose, Willmar, Thief River Falls, Frazee, Perham and Buffalo.

Approximately 250 turkey family farmers from Minnesota raise about 46 million birds annually, which places Minnesota at the #1 position in the U.S. for turkey production.

U.S. turkey production stands at 246 million - which means Minnesota farmers raise nearly 20% of all U.S. turkeys. Approximately 95% of all Americans will eat turkey at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation.

Each turkey raised in Minnesota brings $17.46 in economic value to the state - which means Minnesota's turkeys and the farmers who raise them generate over $800 million in economic activity for the state.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns