Gov. Walz, turkey growers present Minnesota’s Thanksgiving turkey

(ABC 6 News) – Governor Tim Walz presented Minnesota’s Thanksgiving turkey at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Walz was joined by Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association President Jes Westbrock, Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council Vice President Butch Brey, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota Executive Director Colleen Moriarty.

Minnesota has consistently ranked #1 in the United States for turkey production with over 660 turkey farms statewide raising over 40 million birds. Minnesota accounts for 18% of all turkeys produced in the U.S.

“Minnesota produces more turkey than any other state, and that is thanks to the hard work and passion of our growers every day of the year,” said Governor Walz. “Minnesota’s agriculture industry is a crucial part of our state’s thriving economy and culture. I am grateful for all of Minnesota’s farmers and growers who work to ensure we can enjoy our favorite foods this holiday season.”

Minnesota is also home to 3 locally-owned operators who pride themselves in farm-to-table products: Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar; Turkey Valley Farms in Marshall; Northern Pride in Thief River Falls.

Additionally, Minnesota is home to Select Genetics, the country’s largest turkey hatchery, which is part of a collection businesses focused on STEM innovation. Select Genetics’ 600 turkey farms and stakeholders, generate over $1 billion in economic activity for Minnesota and provide more than 26,000 jobs.