WILLMAR — Minnesota is proud of its agricultural heritage, including being the No. 1 producer of turkeys in the nation. Unfortunately, that also means the state is being hit hard by this year’s outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Since late March, nearly 1.4 million turkeys and chickens in Minnesota have been impacted and culled at 40 different sites — most of them commercial poultry producers and six of them in Kandiyohi County alone.
“We knew this was coming. We saw it show up months ago on the East Coast,” said Gov. Tim Walz at a news conference in Willmar on Tuesday, held after a roundtable meeting among local and state officials to discuss the state’s response to the avian flu.
Walz, along with U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, traveled to Willmar to speak with those directly impacted by the outbreak — including poultry producers and industry folks along with staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state Board of Animal Health, who are working nearly nonstop to help slow the spread of the disease. The governor and senators were joined by Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and Minnesota Board of Animal Health Executive Director Dr. Beth Thompson.
Read the full article at the West Central Tribune