Our History

President Truman began the tradition of receiving a Thanksgiving turkey in 1947. Minnesota turkey farmers have sent 13 turkeys to the White House.

Advancing Minnesota Turkey

Turkey has a rich history in the United States - from America’s earliest explorers to the first men on the moon. In fact, the turkey would have beaten out the bald eagle as our nation’s official bird if Benjamin Franklin had his way.

In 1939, turkey farmers joined to form the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA). Since then, MTGA has worked hard to advocate for the industry to policy makers, keep members up to date on industry trends, news, and advancements, and encourage development of the industry workforce. The wisdom gained from decades of experience is an incredible asset to MTGA members. MTGA members annually contribute an affordable fee to join the organization, and in return, are eligible for news alerts, member education, workforce opportunities, and countless other benefits.

Early industry workhorses, Sven Ranelius (left) and Clem Thurnbeck (right) are pictured in the late 50s.

The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) is the leading source for turkey industry information. Created in 1965, MTRPC is the oldest commodity council in the state. The Council consists of turkey farmers who voluntarily contribute to the industry checkoff program. Since its formation, the organization 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. Though independent in mission and functions from MTGA, MTRPC and MTGA communicate to ensure Minnesota's turkey growers needs are met.

Using funding provided by Minnesota turkey farmers, MTPRC has partnered with the University of Minnesota on many research projects. From turkey welfare to turkey health, the research discoveries provided as a result of this partnership has been instrumental to our success and the poultry industry worldwide.

A glimpse into the Diagnostic Lab in the old temporary building before 1960 with Ruel Fenstermacher, Remi Brooks, Stanley Klevin and Ben Pomeroy.

MTRPC also has a history of working with youth involved in FFA or 4-H - the next generation of agriculture workforce talent. They have also provided information for Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) curriculum - a program designed to educate youth about Minnesota's rural economy and the opportunities within the poultry field.

Together, the two organizations work to continue the strong tradition of raising nutritious, home-grown turkeys in Minnesota. We take the responsibility of feeding the world healthy food very seriously.

Our History

Turkey farming has a rich history in Minnesota and through our two organizations, MTGA and MTRPC, we work on behalf of Minnesota's turkey farmers.

Our Farmers

Our turkey farmers take great care in raising the highest quality turkey to put on your table. NTF Standards of Conduct guide our farmers as they ensure each and every bird is will cared for. Learn more about the people who feed you and the world.

Turkey Facts

Turkey is a lean, protein-packed meal your entire family will enjoy. Learn how your locally-grown turkey is raised by our farmers and choose turkey for your daily nutrients.


Minnesota Turkey Growers Association enhances the success of the Minnesota turkey industry through member engagement, strong advocacy with legislators and public outreach.


Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council discovers and shares healthy practices for its members and consumers by advancing strong research and public education.


Gain access to talent in the turkey industry by posting your job opportunity with us. You can also post farm equipment you have for sale where others in the industry will see it. While it’s encouraged, you don’t have to be an MTGA member to post an advertisement. If you are interested in posting an ad, contact us today.

Members can post a classified ad directly through the Member portal. Non-members are encouraged to contact us to post an advertisement.

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