After Avian Flu, Governor’s Turkey Event Has Weightier Feel
ST. PAUL (AP) - One bird may have been the star, but Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota turkey producers held the flapping 40-pounder out as a tribute to an important agriculture sector in the midst of a rebound.
The annual event where Minnesota's governor pets a turkey doubled Monday as a way to highlight an industry recovering from a devastating bout with avian flu. This spring's outbreak and response efforts cost the nation's top turkey producing state 5.5 million birds.
Turkey growers say their supplies are stable heading into this Thanksgiving and their product is safe. Of the 104 affected farms, 99 are in some stage of restocking their flocks.
Dayton dubbed the turkey at his event "Aaron" after Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But he says he wishes the player no ill-will.