Posts

,

MTGA and MTRPC Announce 2017-18 Officers

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN)… The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) announce the following slates of officers for 2017-2018:

MINNESOTA TURKEY RESEARCH & PROMOTION COUNCIL

President – Kim Halvorson, Halvorson Farms, Morristown

Vice President – Chris Huisinga, AgForte, Willmar

Secretary-Treasurer – Max Velo, Evelo Inc., Rothsay

MINNESOTA TURKEY GROWERS ASSOCIATION

President – Chris Huisinga, AgForte, Willmar

Vice President – Scott Christensen, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar

Secretary-Treasurer – Paul Kvistad, Kvistad Poultry, Wood Lake

Officers were officially announced at the annual meetings of the MTGA and MTRPC, held March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

MTRPC Officer Bios:

MTRPC President Kim Halvorson of Morristown, MN owns and operates Halvorson Farms. She has been a turkey farmer for 26 years and raises approximately 100,000 heavy toms/year (about 3.2 million pounds/year) annually in Rice County.

Kim is currently a member of the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce; is a minority liaison with Farm Service Agency; is the current vice-chair of the Rice County District One Hospital Board of Directors. She also served on the Rice County Board of Adjustment from 2006-2011; the Rice County Planning and Zoning Commission from 2002-2011 (serving as past chairwoman); and is a founding member and past chairwoman the Rice County Childcare Association from 1995-2002.

Kim has conducted many media interviews about the turkey industry and was also featured on a DVD compiled by the Minnesota Farm and Food Coalition about livestock production in Minnesota. She has three daughters – Breann, Benita and Greta – and a son, Bernt.

MTRPC President Chris Huisinga is the General Sales Manager for Ag Forte. Ag Forte (the flagship brand for Willmar Poultry/Life-Science Innovations) is the largest supplier of day old turkey poults in the world annually selling 100 million turkeys globally.

Prior to his current role Chris was the General Manager for Ag Forte’s North Division consisting of over 300 employees across 2 hatcheries, 58 parent stock breeding farms, 2 grandparent breeding farms, a vaccine production division, and veterinary services. During his career he has held roles in operations, marketing, finance and business development for Life-Science Innovations and its affiliates and Wells Fargo Corporation in both Minnesota and Florida.

Chris has a BA in Business from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) and a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (Florida). Chris, his wife Joi, and his two children Ethan (13) and Ella (11) live in Willmar, MN.

MTRPC Secretary-Treasurer Max Velo has been actively involved in the turkey industry for 12 years. With a farm in Ottertail County, he raises 400,000 hens per year. Max is particularly interested in domestic and international turkey markets, as well as animal health.

Max’s family consists of Piper, Daryl, Kelsey, Alanna and Nita.

MTGA Officer Bios:

President Chris Huisinga is the General Sales Manager for Ag Forte. Ag Forte (the flagship brand for Willmar Poultry/Life-Science Innovations) is the largest supplier of day old turkey poults in the world annually selling 100 million turkeys globally. 

Prior to his current role Chris was the General Manager for Ag Forte’s North Division consisting of over 300 employees across 2 hatcheries, 58 parent stock breeding farms, 2 grandparent breeding farms, a vaccine production division, and veterinary services. During his career he has held roles in operations, marketing, finance and business development for Life-Science Innovations and its affiliates and Wells Fargo Corporation in both Minnesota and Florida.

Chris has a BA in Business from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (Minnesota) and a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers (Florida). Chris, his wife Joi, and his two children Ethan (13) and Ella (11) live in Willmar, MN.

MTGA Vice President Scott Christensen currently works as the Director of Breeders, Hatchery and Nutrition Services for Jennie-O Turkey Store and his office is based in Spicer, Minn. He has spent 35 years in the food industry, with 12 of those directly in the turkey industry.

In addition to his work at Jennie-O Turkey Store, Scott serves as a board member of West Central Industries and has been a member and volunteer with First Lutheran Church. Scott and his wife, Cheri, have three daughters – Carrisa, Tess and Jenna.

MTGA Secretary-Treasurer Paul Kvistad, a second generation turkey farmer from Yellow Medicine County, owns and operates Paul Kvistad Poultry, which produces 200,000 light hens per year.

Currently Paul is serving on the Education/Workforce Committee for MTGA and has been on the board of the Yellow Medicine County Corn Growers for 15 years. He served as a past member/president for the Echo Lions Club for 12 years and a past board member for the Farmers Co-op Elevator for 9 years. In addition, he continues to usher at Swan Lake Church.

Paul and his wife Jamie have three sons: Hunter, Payton and Brock.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 450 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys annually. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S.

About MTRPC

MTRPC is the oldest check-off based commodity organization in Minnesota, celebrating 50 years in 2015. Since 1965, the MTRPC has worked diligently to encourage consumers to eat more turkey year-round, sponsor innovative turkey research and educate a variety of audiences about the benefits of turkey. Programming at the MTRPC is funded by a voluntary grower checkoff program.

For further details on both organizations, visit , www.minnesotaturkey.com, find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey) and follow us on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey)

###

MN Turkey Council Board Election Results

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben, (763) 682-2171 or  ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

Directors Hail from Pelican Rapids, Northfield and Willmar

(Buffalo, MN)…Five people have been elected to the 16-member Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) Board of Directors according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the agency

responsible for conducting and certifying agricultural promotion council elections. The election was conducted by mail-in ballot in January.

The newly elected directors are:

Region 1

John Gorton, Pelican Rapids

Region 2

John Zimmerman, Northfield

At-Large Positions

Scott Christensen, Willmar

Christopher Huisinga, Willmar

Scott Jones, Willmar

Incumbents elected to their second terms on the Board include John Gorton , Scott Jones and John Zimmerman; new Directors are Scott Christensen and Christopher Huisinga.

All five elected Board members will serve three-year terms and all assumed their seats on March 1.  These directors will also serve on the Board of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA).

The board meets approximately eight times per year to guide MTRPC’s activities. Board members also serve as advocates for Minnesota’s turkey industry. Turkey producers pay a percentage of their sale proceeds to MTRPC, which uses those funds to pay for promotion, communication and research activities aimed at increasing producer profitability.

Elected directors are listed alphabetically below, along with biographical information:

John Gorton (incumbent) – REGION 1 POSITION

John Gorton of Gorton Turkeys has spent his entire life in the turkey industry, including approximately 20 active years as an adult – nearly 6 with Jennie-O and 14 with this father. Gorton Turkeys have raised approximately 500,000 turkeys (hens, light and heavy) annually.

Issues of particular importance to John include maintaining the role of the independent turkey grower in Minnesota’s turkey industry.

Christopher Huisinga and Scott Christensen

Christopher Huisinga and Scott Christensen

John, his wife Trudy and family live in Pelican Rapids and have two sons, Blaine (age 15), and Jay (age 13). He is a past Board Member of the City of Pelican Rapids Planning Commission; an organizer of youth football (2008-2009); and a past leader for Cub/Boy Scouts (2004-2009). His hobbies include golf and pontooning.

This is John’s third term on the Board. He currently serves as Vice President.

Scott Christensen – AT-LARGE POSITION              

Scott Christensen currently works as the Director of Breeders, Hatchery and Nutrition Services for Jennie-O Turkey Store and his office is based in Spicer, Minn. He has spent 32 years in the food industry, with 9 of those directly in the turkey industry.

In addition to his work at Jennie-O Turkey Store, Scott serves as a board member of West Central Industries and has been a member and volunteer with First Lutheran Church.

Issues of particular importance to Scott include getting a better understanding of how the turkey industry interacts with other Minnesota industries and learning about the critical issues that are facing the turkey industry. He also believes in supporting and promoting local agricultural efforts.

Scott and his wife, Cheri, have three daughers – Carrisa, Tess and Jenna. His hobbies include traveling, golf, fishing and hunting.

Scott Jones

Scott Jones

This is Scott’s first term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

Christopher Huisinga (AT-LARGE POSITION)        

Christopher Huisinga  currently works for Willmar Poultry Company dba Ag Forte as the North Division Manager/Minnesota Breeding and Hatcheries. He has worked in the turkey industry for the past 10 years. He manages breeding farms in Kandiyohi County that raise 580,000 PS breeders and 15,000 GP breeders that produce about 55 million commercial poults on an annual basis.

In addition to his role at WPC/Ag Forte, Chris has served as director on the University of Minnesota West Central Partnership Board (2010); was a committee member on the Florida Bankers Association Legislative Committee (2002); and a committee member on the Biobusiness Alliance Legislative Committee (2009).

Issues of particular concern to Chris include the use and allocation of association resources; disease management; industry issues; consumer relations/perception; industry education; and state and federal legislation impacting the turkey industry.

Chris and his wife, Joi, have one son, Ethan, and one daughter, Ella. In his spare time, Chris enjoys mountain biking, hunting, music and all other sports.

This is Chris’s first term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

Scott Jones (incumbent) – AT-LARGE POSITION

Scott Jones currently works for Jennie-O Turkey Store as Director of Procurement and has been in the turkey business for 20 years. His primary role involves procuring and planning how to utilize growing capacity to meet the planned needs of the company.

While going to college he spent every summer working either on a turkey farm or in one of the Willmar-area processing plants.  After graduating from Concordia College Scott returned to Jennie-O and eventually was offered a job in the Quality Control area.  As part of the Quality Control group he held several positions in the Willmar processing plants from a Quality Control Engineer to Quality Control Manager in two of Jennie-O’s Willmar

John Zimmerman and John Gorton

John Zimmerman and John Gorton

facilities. After working in the Quality Control area, he moved into Live Bird Scheduling which he did up until his current position with Jennie-O Turkey Store.

This is Scott’s second term on the MTGA-MTRPC Board of Directors.

John Zimmerman (incumbent) – REGION 2 POSITION

John Zimmerman runs the family farm – P & J Products, Northfield, MN – along with his mother, Karen Zimmerman. He has been in the turkey industry all his life and P & J Products raise approximately 3-4 million pounds of turkey annually and also raise 500 acres of corn and soybeans.

John graduated from Iowa State University with a BS degree in animal science. He also is a graduate of the Minnesota Agricultural Rural Leadership Program (MARL) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of MARL. In addition, he is board secretary of the River County Co-op. He and his wife, Kara, live in Northfield.

This is John’s third term on the Board. He currently serves as President.

About MTGA

The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, MN, is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a successful Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to make positive contributions to consumers, the economy, the environment and its members. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising approximately 46 million turkeys in 2012. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit , www.minnesotaturkey.com, find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey) and follow us on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey)

 

###