MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171



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


Leon Klaphake, Melrose

Michael Langmo, LItchfield


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


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