FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lara Durben (Email | 763-682-2171)
(Buffalo, MN)… The Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association have announced election results for each of its Board of Directors.
The newly elected directors are:
MINNESOTA TURKEY GROWERS ASSOCIATION
Nancy Kothrade, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar
Chris Huisinga, AgForte, Willmar (incumbent)
Scott Christensen, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar (incumbent)
MINNESOTA TURKEY RESEARCH & PROMOTION COUNCIL
John Peterson, Peterson Turkey Hatchery, Cannon Falls
Chris Huisinga, AgForte, Willmar (incumbent)
Scott Jones, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar (incumbent)
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 16 in Saint Paul, Minn.
Elected directors are listed alphabetically below, along with biographical information:
Scott Christensen currently works as the Director of Breeders, Hatchery and Nutrition Services for Jennie-O Turkey Store and his office is 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 daughers – Carrisa, Tess and Jenna.
Christopher T. 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 and Ella, live in Willmar, Minn.
Scott Jones currently works for Jennie-O Turkey Store as Director of Procurement and has been in the turkey business for over 21 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 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.
Nancy Kothrade has worked for the past six years in the turkey industry, most recently as Live Production Specialist for Jennie-O Turkey Store. Prior to that, she spent two years working at University of Minnesota’s poultry nutrition laboratory where she assisted with multiple nutritional research projects, cared for birds at Rosemont, MN facility and campus teaching and research facility, and performed lab analysis on feed samples.
She worked closely with USDA-APHIS throughout the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak. In her current role at Jennie-O Turkey Store, she supports growers to analyze and implement new technologies to improve all aspects of the turkey production process.
Nancy has a BS in animal science-poultry production from the University of Minnesota and is currently working toward her MBA through West Texas A&M University. She also is a 2009 graduate of the Midwest Poultry Consortium at the University of Wisconsin- Madison
John Peterson is the third-generation of his family to grow turkeys on his farm in Cannon Falls. John returned to his family’s farm in 2008 to begin direct-selling their turkey under their own label, Ferndale Market. John is actively engaged in both turkey production and the selling of their turkey products. Today Ferndale Market’s free-range & antibiotic-free turkey products are found in natural food stores and served in many restaurants and college and corporate foodservice settings throughout the Upper Midwest.
The Peterson family also operates an on-farm store, retailing local foods from over 100 producers. John is currently serving as Chair of the Cannon Falls Chamber of Commerce and has been active in local economic development efforts. John is a graduate of Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD with a degree in Business & Communication. He and his wife, Erica, have a son, Finn.
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.
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.