Thanksgiving Week got underway today at the Minnesota State Capitol. This morning, Governor Mark Dayton was joined by Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association President John Zimmerman, and Colleen Moriarty of Hunger Solutions Minnesota to bring in the week's festivities. A Minnesota-grown turkey was also on-hand for the occasion.
Minnesota is the largest producer of turkeys in the United States. The state's 250 turkey farmers raise an estimated 47 million birds annually, generating $800 million in economic activity and supporting 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.
Governor Dayton, Minnesota's turkey farmers, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota also addressed ending hunger across the state, encouraging Minnesotans to donate to their local food shelves. More information about those efforts can be found in this news release from the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.