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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)

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MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     lara@minnesotaturkey.com

 

MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

Directors Hail from Viking, Morristown, Melrose, Litchfield and Kensington

(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 Umber, Viking

Region 2

Kim Halvorson, Morristown

Grower-At-Large

Leon Klaphake, Melrose

Michael Langmo, LItchfield

Breeder-At-Large

Dana Nelson, Kensington

Incumbents elected to their second terms on the Board include John Umber and Michael Langmo; new Directors are Kim Halvorson, Leon Klaphake and Michael Langmo.

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 about 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 Umber – Region 1 candidate

John Umber has been in the turkey industry for 26 years, currently raising 160,000 hens for Umber Turkeys Inc. in Viking, MN. This will be John’s 2nd term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

John has volunteered with Minnesota Extension, been a member of a five-county feedlot committee, and is also a member of the Marshall County Feedlot Planning Committee.

He and his wife, Gloria, have three children: Steven, Amanda and Desiree. John’s hobbies include moto-cross, fishing, paintball and hunting.

Kim Halvorson – Region 2 candidate

Kim Halvorson of Morristown, MN owns and operates Halvorson Farms with her husband, Dennis. She has been a turkey farmer for 23 years and raises approximately 100,000 heavy toms/year (about 3.2 million pounds/year) annually in Rice County.

This is Kim’s 1st term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

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 of 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 is seeking her first term on the MTGA and MTRPC Board of Directors.

She and Dennis have three daughters – Breann, Benita and Greta – and a son, Bernt. Their daughters are out of college and Bernt will be transfering to the University of Minnesota beginning January 2012.

Leon Klaphake – Grower-At-Large candidate

Leon Klaphake of Klaphake Feed Mill, Inc. in Melrose, MN has logged 31 years in the turkey industry. He and his family raise approximately 1.8 million hens annually in Stearns, Douglas and Todd counties. This is Leon’s 1st term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

He sits on the finance committee for St. Mary’s Parish and is also a member of Stearns County Pheasants Forever. Issues of particular importance to Leon include animal welfare, keeping young people involved and educated about the industry, and ethanol.

He and his wife, Mary, have two children – Ashley (a senior at St. Cloud State University) and Chris (a sophomore at St. Cloud State University).  Leon’s hobbies include golfing, hunting, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

Michael Langmo – Grower-At-Large candidate

Michael Langmo has spent 31 years in the turkey industry, currently raising approximately 190,000 turkeys annually in Eden Valley, MN – mostly light hens with a couple of heavy hen/consumer tom flocks. This is Michael’s 2nd term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors.

For the past 14 years, Michael has been chairman of the worship and music committee of his church, where he and his wife are also actively involved in the church choir, handbell choir and men’s quartet.

Michael holds a B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in agriculture education. He and his wife, Debbie, have been marred 27 years and their son, David, is married with two children. Michael and Debbie enjoy camping and spending time with the grandchildren as well as their two Labrador retrievers. Michael also enjoys woodworking/building furniture.

Dana Nelson

Dana Nelson of Oakdale Farm in Kensington raises breeder hens in Douglas County and is a fourth generation turkey farmer. His great grandmother started raising turkeys at the turn of the centure and then his grandfather expanded the operation.

This is Dana’s 1st term on the MTGA/MTRPC Board of Directors and he will represent turkey breeders from across Minnesota. Dana is also involved in the church council for Messiah Lutheran Church and has been an adult leader of the Runestone 4-H Club for six years.

Dana and his wife, Deb, have three daughters: Erica, Jenna and Lauren. When he’s not raising turkeys, Dana enjoys gardening and antique tractors.

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 2011. Minnesota has the most independent turkey farmers of any state in the U.S. For further details, visit www.minnesotaturkey.com.

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