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Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Receive President's Award

Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Receive President's Award

They received this special recognition for raising and traveling with the Presidential Turkeys.

The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association has honored five individuals this year for their extraordinary promotion of Minnesota turkey and their dedication and commitment to the goals of the association.

Receiving the 2012 MTGA President's Award are:

•Brianna Hoover
•Brenna Ahlquist
•Preston Asche
•Val Brown
•Jennifer Baumgartner

Brianna, Brenna, Preston and Val are Willmar High School students and FFA members who were instrumental to the success of the 2011 President Turkey project that was coordinated by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Willmar Poultry Company and the National Turkey Federation.

Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Receive President's Award

The students cared daily for a special flock of turkeys last fall, two of which were destined for a trip to the White House to be pardoned by President Barack Obama. In addition to the daily care and human interaction the birds needed in order to be trained for any Presidential duties, the students also made educational school visits in the Twin Cities, conducted media interviews, and even blogged about their experiences raising the Presidential turkeys.

Jennifer Baumgartner, whose full-time role with Life-Science Innovations and Willmar Poultry Company includes communications & employee relations, was honored for her hard work and efforts in organizing the students and their busy schedules, assisting MTGA with photos and video-taping, coordinating on-site media stories in Willmar, and serving as a chaperone to Washington, D.C., where she and the FFA students witnessed the Presidential pardon of the official National Thanksgiving Turkey.

"This entire project was made even more special because of these FFA students and the assistance of Jenn Baumgartner," said Steve Olson, MTGA executive director. "We appreciated the time and work they all did to make sure this project went off without a hitch. They were excellent spokespeople for Minnesota's turkey farmers."

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA' s annual meeting in St. Paul.

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

For further details, please visit

Source: MTGA
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