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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)

 

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MTGA Announces Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

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

MTGA Announces Allied Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Jerry Isley, Willmar Poultry Company, Honored

(Buffalo, MN) … Jerry Isley, the long-time general manager of PALS (a subsidiary of Willmar Poultry Company) was honored for his many years of service to Minnesota’s turkey industry at  the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) Summer Meeting last month in Bemidji, MN. Isley of Willmar, Minn., received the 2012 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is based on several criteria:

  • Long-term service to the industry (20+ years).
  • Long-term support of the MTGA.
  • Well-respected by peers and customers.
  • Commitment to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry.

MTGA Allied Committee Member Grant Shold of Land O’Lakes Purina Feed made the awards presentation.

Isley  grew up in North Dakota and worked at his family’s hardware store for many years, until that business was sold. He moved to Perham, Minn. where he eventually began working for a turkey breeding farm and started making the important people connections that led him to his current stint with Willmar Poultry Company.

Once Isley was hired at PALS/Willmar Poultry Company, he spent four years in territory sales in the northern half of Minnesota and North Dakota, and a little bit of South Dakota. At the same time, the Pal-Tech ventilation system was starting to grow dramatically and there was a desire from the company to take it to a bigger territory – more national. And that’s exactly what Jerry did – he traveled all over the country, working with sales reps in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, California to name just a few states – selling the ventilation system and the Pal-Tech controls.

Said Shold, “As General Manager of PALS, Jerry Isley has met so many people and represented the turkey industry well.”

Isley  was most recently a Board Director and Past President of the Midwest Poultry Federation Board of Directors and he participate in many industry events through the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Broiler & Egg Association of Minnesota.

“Jerry is intending to retire from PALS later this year and he and his wife, Lois, wuld like to settle somewhere warm in retirement,” said Shold. “On behalf of MTGA, I am proud to honor Jerry Isley with the 2012 MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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 annually. 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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Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Honored

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:   (763) 682-2171

E-mail:   lara@minnesotaturkey.com

Willmar FFA Students, Life-Science Innovations Staffer Honored

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) has honored five individuals this year for their extraordinary promotion of Minnesota turkey and their dedication and commitment to the goals of the association.

Receiving the 2012 MTGA President’s Award are:

  • Brianna Hoover
  • Brenna Ahlquist
  • Preston Asche
  • Val Brown
  • Jennifer Baumgartner

Brianna, Brenna, Preston and Val are Willmar High School students and FFA members who were instrumental to the success of the 2011 President Turkey project that was coordinated by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Willmar Poultry Company and the National Turkey Federation.

The students cared daily for a special flock of turkeys last fall, two of which were destined for a trip to the White House to be pardoned by President Barack Obama. In addition to the daily care and human interaction the birds needed in order to be trained for any Presidential duties, the students also made educational school visits in the Twin Cities, conducted media interviews, and even blogged about their experiences raising the Presidential turkeys.

Jennifer Baumgartner, whose full-time role with Life-Science Innovations and Willmar Poultry Company includes communications & employee relations, was honored for her hard work and efforts in organizing the students and their busy schedules, assisting MTGA with photos and video-taping, coordinating on-site media stories in Willmar, and serving as a chaperone to Washington DC, where she and the FFA students witnessed the Presidential pardon of the official National Thanksgiving Turkey.

“This entire project was made even more special because of these FFA students and the assistance of Jenn Baumgartner,” said MTGA Executive Director Steve Olson. “We appreciated the time and work they all did to make sure this project went off without a hitch. They were excellent spokespeople for Minnesota’s turkey farmers.”

The official award presentation took place at the MTGA’ s annual meeting in Saint Paul, Minn. on March 14.

For more information on the MTGA or its President’s Award program, please contact the MTGA at (763) 682-2171 or visit www.Minnesotaturkey.com.

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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