From The Associated Press
Turkeys heading to White House
WILLMAR, Minn. — Two Minnesota grown turkeys get an official send-off at Willmar High School on Monday before going to Washington to be pardoned by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.
They come from a flock of 30 potential presidential turkeys raised and socialized by FFA members in Willmar.
The White House tradition dates to 1947. Minnesota is the country’s top turkey producer, and the lucky tom comes from the farm of National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga, who’ll present it to the first family. Four students will also travel to Washington.
Minnesota turkeys have starred at White House pardons 11 times, most recently in 2005.
Both birds will live out their days at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. The remaining 28 will be processed and the meat donated to Willmar area food shelves.
Tyson Foods plans expansion
DAKOTA CITY, Neb. — Tyson Foods plans an $8.4 million expansion of its Dakota City plant.
Building permits filed in Dakota City show Tyson wants to add a new, two-story building and add on to an existing facility at its beef-processing plant. The permits don’t give a timeline for the construction projects.
Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson confirmed the plans to KTIV-TV and said more jobs would be offered at the plant in the next few years but declined to provide more details.
Test: thumbs up for local products
NEW ORLEANS — The sauteed sweet potatoes with oven-roasted bell peppers, sauteed andouille, sauteed broccoli, sweet potato pancakes and orange wedges all got thumbs up from 40 third- through eighth-grade students in New Orleans — and all were Louisiana products.
The pancakes were very popular — lots of students wanted seconds — but younger students tended to leave most of the broccoli on their plates, said the LSU AgCenter’s Pam Hodson, who arranged the taste test as the first in what she hopes to make a statewide series. About two-thirds of the students wrote on their rating forms that they liked the broccoli, she said.
“We want to try to match Louisiana producers with schools around the state,” said Hodson. “If we can help farmers find markets and schools identify local sources for their food, everybody comes out ahead.”
She said some money to add local food to school menus could come from U.S. Department of Agriculture grants planned next year to let schools buy produce from local farmers and fishermen, and let them bring the growers and gatherers into schools as speakers.