Minnesota turkey farmers raise 46 million turkeys annually, supporting 26,000 jobs
ST. PAUL, MN – Kicking off Thanksgiving Week in Minnesota this morning, Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith were joined by Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council President Robert Orsten, and Colleen Moriarty of Hunger Solutions Minnesota. A Minnesota-grown turkey was also on-hand for the occasion.
“Thanksgiving is a day for us to spend time with our families and friends, and to give thanks for our blessings,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “This Thanksgiving, I encourage all Minnesotans to serve Minnesota-grown turkeys and to be thankful for our state and our country.”
Minnesota’s 450 turkey farmers raise an estimated 46 million birds in a typical year. This production generates $807 million in economic activity every year, and supports 26,000 Minnesota jobs. Turkeys grown in Minnesota also consume $163 million of corn and $169 million of soybean meal – adding approximately $251 million to the value of corn and soybeans in Minnesota.
“As we give thanks this week, let's remember the Minnesota families that don't have a warm home and big Thanksgiving dinner to look forward to,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. "Every day, an average of 9,000 Minnesotans visit food shelves across the state. If you want to help, Hunger Solutions Minnesota can show you how. I'm grateful to Hunger Solutions and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association for their hard work and generosity this season, and every time of year.”
Governor Dayton, Lt. Governor Smith, Minnesota’s turkey farmers, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota addressed ending hunger across the state by encouraging Minnesotans to donate to their local food shelves.
“Minnesota’s turkey farmers are thankful for the success we have had this year after rebounding from the impact of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in 2015,” said Robert Orsten, MTRPC President. “We remain diligent in our preparation to protect bird health if the virus should return, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be here today with Governor Dayton to usher in a true American holiday tradition that is near and dear to our hearts.”
Minnesota’s agriculture industry contributes $90 billion a year to the state’s economy. It also employs over 320,000 Minnesotans, making it the second largest employer in the state.