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Turkey Farmers Honored with Turkey Promoter of the Year Award

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) has honored three turkey farmers with its 2017 “Turkey Promoter of the Year” award.

Scott Heymer, Princeton, Minn., Wayne Knudsen, New London, Minn., and Paul Kvistad, Wood Lake, Minn. were given the award for their farm advocacy efforts on behalf of the MTGA.

Both Heymer and Knudsen opened up their farms for two “Day in the Life of a Turkey Farmer” video projects for Minnesota Turkey. Kvistad worked with Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom to conduct MTGA’s first ever virtual farm tour last November.

“Putting yourself in front of an audience you can’t see takes a leap of faith,” said MTGA and MTRPC Executive Director Steve Olson. “We are grateful that we have farmers like Scott, Wayne, and Paul who are willing to share their farm stories to a larger audience – many of whom are far removed from the farm and food production.”

The award was presented at the MTRPC Annual Meeting on March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

For more information about the Promoter of the Year Award or the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council, please call 763/682-2171, email info@minnesotaturkey.com or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

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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.

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MTGA and MTRPC Board Election Results Announced

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN)… The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association have announced election results for each of its Boards of Directors.

The newly elected directors are:

MINNESOTA TURKEY GROWERS ASSOCIATION

Region 2

Paul Kvistad, Kvistad Poultry, Wood Lake (Incumbent)

At-Large Positions

Ken Gleaves, Turkey Valley Farms, Marshall

MINNESOTA TURKEY RESEARCH & PROMOTION COUNCIL

Region 1

Scott Heymer, Red Bridge Farms, Princeton (incumbent)

Also appointed to an Allied position on the MTGA Board was Barry Koppen of Purina Animal Nutrition. This is Koppen’s first term on the MTGA board.

At-Large Positions

Eddie “Max” Velo, Evelo Inc., Rothsay (Grower-At-Large)

Loren Brey, Brey Farms, New Ulm (Breeder-At-Large)

All elected Board directors will serve three-year terms and assumed their seats on March 1. Each of these boards meet approximately six times per year to guide MTRPC and MTGA activities, respectively.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is the agency responsible for conducting and certifying the MTRPC election, which was conducted by mail-in ballot in January. MTGA members voted for its Board election at the MTGA annual meeting on March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

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

Loren Brey – MTRPC

Loren Brey is the owner of Brey Farms in Brown County, near Sleepy Eye, MN; he has been involved in the turkey industry for 30 years. Loren and his wife Brenda, raise 20,000 breeder hens a year on their farm. In addition to raising breeder hens, Loren also grows corn and soybeans. Loren has served as a school board member for several years for the Lafayette Charter School.

Loren and Brenda have two daughters – Morgan and Courtney.

Ken Gleaves – MTGA

Ken has been involved in the turkey industry for 38 years. Ken started in the turkey industry as a brooding manager for Shinn Turkeys in central Nebraska. He ended his time there managing three farms, feeding four farms and running two feed mills. Also, in that time, Ken and his wife, Diane had their own small hen farm for eight years.

During Ken’s time in Nebraska, he served on the board of directors for the Nebraska Turkey Growers Coop in Gibbon, NE, the only turkey processing plant in the state for many years. He was also involved in the Nebraska Poultry Industries.

Ken worked with the Willmar Poultry Company for seven years, first in the breeder division, then as a manager for company commercial farms. In 2014, Ken moved to Turkey Valley Farms and serves as their live production coordinator.

Ken and his wife Diane reside in Willmar. They have been married for 38 years and have five children and three grandchildren.

Scott Heymer – MTRPC

Scott Heymer, the owner of Red Bridge Farms, Inc. in Princeton, has been involved in the turkey industry for 40 years. Annually he raises 150,000 heavy toms.

Scott and his wife Lennea have been married for 32 years and have two children: Becky and Brian. Brian has joined them in working on the farm. 

Barry Koppen – MTGA

Barry Koppen lives in Spicer, MN with his wife Megan. He has a Financial Economics degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. Barry started his career working for Jennie-O Turkey Store in 2010 as an Area Supervisor working the Benson Area servicing company, lease, and contract farms.

Barry started at Purina Animal Nutrition in 2013 as a Poultry Sales Specialist. At Purina, he works with turkey, pheasant, layer, and broiler producers across the country to provide them with feed ingredients, complete feed, and nutritional services.

Paul Kvistad – MTGA

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.

Max Velo – MTRPC

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.

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

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

 

Directors Hail from Princeton, Redwood Falls, Rothsay, Willmar and Wood Lake

(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

Scott Heymer, Princeton

Region 2

Paul Kvistad, Wood Lake

At-Large Positions

Gene Brownfield, Redwood Falls

Robert Orsten, Willmar

Max Velo, Rothsay

Incumbents elected to their third terms on the Board include Gene Brownfield and Robert Orsten; new Directors are Scott Heymer, Paul Kvistad and Max Velo.

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 six times per year to guide MTRPC’s activities. Board members also serve as advocates for Minnesota’s turkey industry. Turkey farmers 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:

Gene Brownfield (Grower-At-Large)

Gene Brownfield currently produces hens on farms in Renville and Brown counties.

This is Gene’s third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards and he currently serves as Vice President. He also represents MTGA on the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition (MAWRC).

Gene currently serves as an Elder at Cornerstone Christian Church and is a director in several local and state ministries. He also serves on several boards and volunteers in community activities. Gene and his wife Janette have two children, Dean, who runs the family farm, and Jayne who lives in Waconia. They also follow the activities of three active grandsons. Gene’s hobbies include fishing and relaxing at the lake cabin.

Paul Kvistad (Region 2)

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.  This is Paul’s first term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards.

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.  In his spare time, he enjoys watching their sons’ sporting events, fishing and spending time at their lake home.

 

Scott Heymer (Region 1)

Scott Heymer, the owner of Red Bridge Farms, Inc. in Princeton, has been involved in the turkey industry for 38 years. Annually he raises 150,000 heavy toms and this is Scott’s first term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards.

Scott and his wife Lennea have been married for 30 years and have two children:  Becky and Brian.  Brian has joined them in working on the farm.  Scott enjoys camping, kayaking, ice fishing and deer hunting.

Robert Orsten (Breeder-At-Large)

Robert Orsten has worked 23 years in the turkey industry. With farms in Kandiyohi and Swift counties, his family raises 70,000 breeder turkeys and also grows corn, beans and hay. This is Robert’s third term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards and he currently serves as Treasurer.

Robert served on the school board for Community Christian School eight years; four years as secretary and four years as president. He is currently a township supervisor, elected in 2008.

He and his wife, Rochelle, have five children: Talia, Autumn, RJ, Brady and James. His hobbies include boating, camping, spending time with family and friends, raising Hereford cattle and his kids’ sporting events.

Max Velo (Grower At Large)

Max has been actively involved in the turkey industry for 10 years.  With a farm in Ottertail County, he raises 400,000 hens per year.  This is Max’s first term on the MTGA and MTRPC Boards.

Max’s family consists of Piper, Daryl, Kelsey, Alanna and Nita. In his spare time he enjoys music and reading books.

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 2013. 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)

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