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Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Minnesota Turkey Growers Association turns 75, will feed at fair
With the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) celebrating its 75th anniversary as an organization in 2014, and its concession stand, Turkey To Go, entering its 56th year at the Minnesota State Fair, there's a whole lot of history worth celebrating. The Minnesota State Fair begins August 21 and runs through September 1.
MTGA was formed in 1939 by several turkey farmers in the state who wanted an organization that could bring the turkey industry together and collectively work to improve and expand turkey production in Minnesota. Several decades later, the organization was going strong and turkey farmers were looking for new ways to promote the consumption of turkey on a large scale. Participating in the Minnesota State Fair was an obvious choice.
In 1958, the humble beginnings of Turkey To Go started, first under a rented canvas covered frame and the name "Turkey Teria" and later, several new buildings along the way, Turkey To Go grew into what it is today - a perennial fair favorite concession stand. In fact, in 2012 Turkey To Go was named the very first “People’s Choice for Best Fair Food or Beverage,” voted on by fairgoers.
Today, Turkey To Go is still owned by the MTGA with day-to-day operations handled by The Turkey Guys. While MTGA handles much of the behind-the-scenes details of the operation prior to and during the State Fair and is responsible for upkeep to the building and equipment, The Turkey Guys – better known as Drew Levin and Daniel Perkins – bring in their staff to run the concession stand, including cooking and serving up turkey to hungry fairgoers.
MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson says the goal of Turkey To Go isn’t much different than it was 56 years ago – to showcase to fairgoers that turkey can be a delicious, nutritious option for meals all year long.
“Turkey has always been the centerpiece of the classic Thanksgiving meal, but today, it's so much more than that,” said Olson. "Minnesota's turkey companies have developed over 2,000 different turkey products so consumers can enjoy a variety of different cuts and recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That type of innovation and the knowledge and expertise of our multi-generational turkey farm families have led to Minnesota's growth over the last 75 years to the No. 1 turkey-producing state in the nation."
Also a long-standing tradition at the State Fair, MTGA is proud to announce that a portion of every sale at Turkey To Go will be donated to Hunger Solutions Minnesota, an organization dedicated to ending hunger. This is the seventh straight year of continuing this tradition of giving back.
“Minnesota’s 450 family farmers have 75 years of history behind them, raising the highest quality turkey for consumers,” said Olson. "We're humbled by these many decades of success and we're looking forward to what the future will bring."
About Turkey To Go
Turkey To Go concession at the Minnesota State Fair is located at 1256 Clough Avenue, next door to the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand.
Turkey To Go’s Giant Juicy Turkey Sandwich comes in its original version or a gigantic half-pound option. The concession stand also serves up its popular roasted turkey drumsticks. Topping choices for these items include: bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce; brie cheese and cranberry sauce; and crispy chopped bacon and sweet glaze.
Turkey To Go’s mobile food cart locations in downtown serve the same menu and can be found most weekdays during lunch at South 8th Street and Nicollet Mall. A second location at South 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue is utilized during Minnesota Twins home games.
In addition, Turkey To Go has two locations in Target Field during Minnesota Twins’ home games (between sections 112-113 and also in 318), and is open year-round with an expanded menu in the Baker Building food court (706 2nd Avenue South, downtown Minneapolis) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.