MN Turkey Council Board Election Results Announced

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171



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 ,, find us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey)


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