Burkel, John

Meet the Candidate

Running For:
MN House of Representatives
Political Affiliation:
(218) 689-0395
Agriculture - Farm
Biographical Info:
I am a lifelong resident of the area, growing up on a turkey farm in Greenbush and graduating from Greenbush High School. My wife Joni (Svoboda) is a Badger graduate and we have been married for 33 years. We have five children. Vanessa (28), is a mom and CPA residing in Park River, ND with her husband Kilen, son Rhett and two daughters, Joelle and Faye. Andrea (26) is an elementary school teacher and resides with her husband Austin “AJ” Hogenson in Badger and they are expecting their first child in November. Alex (24) has an MBA from Bemidji State University and is getting married in August. Jack (19) is a sophomore at North Dakota State University and Emily (14) will be in 9th grade this fall. All of our kids have either graduated or currently attend the Badger School. I attended two years at North Dakota State University and moved back to buy the turkey farm where we currently live and operate in Badger. I am a fourth generation turkey producer who is currently serving my 20th year on the board of directors at Northern Pride, Inc., a grower owned turkey processing and marketing cooperative based in Thief River Falls. I have served as chairman of the board since 2016. I have also been active in the turkey industry serving on the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association board of directors from 1999-2009, and was chairman of that organization in 2005. I was also a member of the executive committee of the National Turkey Federation from 2007-2017 and was chairman in 2013. Locally, Joni and I are active members of St. Mary’s church in Badger, teaching religious education and serving in our parish music ministry. I have been active on the church council and have been a trustee as well. We were also chosen to be the ambassadors representing Roseau County in 2007 to the Red River Valley Emerging Leaders program.
Common sense is in short supply in the Twin Cities, so we need to do our part to bring a bit of sanity back to Minnesota politics. I promise to do my part to remind the legislature that what makes Minnesota a great place to live, work, and raise a family is working hard and respecting our neighbors.


Response Legend

  • YYes
  • NNo
  • ?Declined to Respond/Undecided, Position Unknown/Unclear
  • *Comment
  • Position based upon candidate record or extensive research

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Should abortions be banned after fetal heartbeat is detected (around 6 weeks gestation)? Y
2. Do you oppose all taxpayer funding of abortion? Y
3. Do you oppose physician assisted suicide, also referred to as aid in dying? Y
4. Do you oppose public school policies that promote transgender ideology, such as comprehensive sex education? Y
5. Do you support legislation that preserves girls’ and women’s athletics for biological females? Y
6. Do you support school choice legislation, such as tuition tax credits, that would enable parents to choose the school that best suits their child’s needs? Y
7. Should people have their religious freedom protected if they refuse to participate in a same-sex wedding? Y
8. Do you oppose efforts to ban voluntary biblical counseling in the areas of gender and sexuality? Y
9. Do you support a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, including their education and health care? Y