Brad Finstad, who recently served as the interim executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC), is Minnesota’s newest member of Congress.

Finstad, on August 9, won a special election to serve out the remainder of the term previously held by Minnesota District 1 Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who passed away in February. Finstad, a Republican, was sworn into office on August 12.

“It is an extraordinary honor to have been chosen by my fellow Minnesotans to serve in this Congress. Minnesota’s First Congressional District has been home to several generations of my family, and I believe it’s the greatest place on Earth. Having the opportunity to bring our values to Washington, D.C. is an important job, and I am committed to working hard for the people of our district every day,” Finstad said in a press release.

“People in my district sent a farmer to Congress. As a farmer, we wake up in the morning and don’t wonder if something will be broken during the day; we know something will be, so instead, we wonder how we will fix it. I will come to work every day in Congress with the intention to do everything I can to fix things. We inherited the best country on earth from the last generation. We have an obligation to make sure the greatest country on earth is what we are passing to the next generation.”

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Prior to his work with the MTGA and MTRPC, Finstad served as state director for USDA Rural Development in Minnesota during Sonny Perdue’s tenure as agriculture secretary, as an area director with Minnesota Farm Bureau, and as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. 

Finstad to face Ettinger in November

The August election also served as a primary election for the November election for the seat formerly held by Hagedorn. Either way, the winner of that race will have experience in the turkey industry.

While Finstad advanced after the August election, Jeff Ettinger, a former Jennie-O Turkey Store president who was eventually promoted to president, CEO and chairman of parent company Hormel Foods, easily won the Democratic primary. Ettinger retired as Hormel’s president and CEO in 2016, and as chairman in 2017.