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MTGA and MTRPC award three noteworthy individuals during annual meeting

July 2, 2019 — For immediate release

Contact: Lara Durben, Communications Director
Phone: (763) 682-2171
E-mail: ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

MTGA and MTRPC award three noteworthy individuals with its Ranelius, Turkey Promoter and Allied Lifetime Achievement Awards

(Buffalo, Minn.) — The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council (MTRPC) are pleased to share the names of its award recipients honored for their dedication, service and passion for the Minnesota turkey industry. The announcements were made at the MTGA 80th Anniversary Summer Conference on June 27 in Brainerd, Minn.

Ranelius Award
MTGA is proud to announce that Pete Rothfork, Rothfork Associates and a turkey grower from Melrose, Minn., is the 2019 recipient of its prestigious Ranelius Award.

“The Ranelius Award is the highest honor given by the MTGA,” said MTGA President Paul Kvistad, a turkey farmer from Wood Lake, Minn. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry. Pete Rothfork is more than deserving of this special honor.”

Rothfork and his family raise one million tom turkeys annually and have been involved in the Minnesota turkey industry for multiple generations. He serves as President and CEO of the Melrose Feed Mill, Inc. which manufactures 50,000 tons of feed annually. Rothfork is well- respected among his peers and served as the MTGA & MTRPC President from 1997-1998 in addition to serving as past chairman of the National Turkey Federation in 2005.

“Pete embodies servant leadership with a firm but steady hand and leads by example,” said Lara Durben, interim Executive Director. “He encourages new members to get involved with our associations and understands the value of transparent relationships with stakeholders when working toward a common goal.”

“It is a great honor to present the Ranelius Award to Pete Rothfork,” said Kvistad. “We thank him for his dedication and passion to our state turkey industry.”

The Ranelius Award is named for Sven Ranelius, a founding father of the MTGA, often described as a quiet, unselfish person who was very dedicated to the turkey industry in Minnesota.

Nominees are evaluated on two central criteria: their contribution to the industry over a period of time; and the quality of that contribution.

To view a recap video of Pete Rothfork’s impact on Minnesota’s turkey industry, please visit Minnesota Turkey’s YouTube Channel.

Turkey Promoter of the Year Award
The MTRPC honored Kim Halvorson, current MTRPC President and a turkey grower from Morristown, Minn., with its 2019 Turkey Promoter of the Year Award.

Professionally, Halvorson has handled a myriad of media interviews through the years and was an asset during the High-Path Avian Influenza breakout in 2015. The association relied on her to take on interview requests which she conducted with expertise and ease.

More recently, Halvorson promotes turkey at a variety of events in her region, including Hy-Vee grocery stores’ “Meet a Farmer” events and annual food shelf and agriculture events put on by KLGR Radio in Faribault. Lastly, Halvorson is a board director and volunteer for Farmamerica, which aims to connect people with the evolution of agriculture.

“Kim Halvorson has long been an advocate and passionate volunteer for Minnesota’s turkey industry, even before she was elected to the board of directors” said Lara Durben, interim Executive Director. “She always maximizes her opportunities to promote turkey and agriculture wherever she is at; she makes sure our legislative leaders know how MTGA & MTRPC stand on issues.”

Congratulations to Kim Halvorson on this befitting honor. The MTRPC thanks her for years of outstanding commitment to the organization and its mission.

Allied Lifetime Achievement Award
The MTGA honored Gregg Veldman, Senior Business Manager at Evonik Corporation and a resident of Becker, Minn., with the 2019 Allied Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gregg began his poultry career as a sales representative with Novus International in 1994 before working for Evonik Corporation in 2012.

Gregg has been an avid supporter of the turkey industry for many years. He set up a $20,000 scholarship program with Evonik for children of families impacted by High-Path Avian Influenza and has lobbied for the turkey industry at the state and national level.

“Gregg has always been a passionate advocate for the turkey industry,” said Paul Kvistad, MTGA President. “He exemplifies the role allied members play in our association and we appreciate his dedicated service throughout the past 25 years.”

For more information on the MTGA or MTRPC, Ranelius Award, Turkey Promoter of the Year, or Allied Lifetime Achievement Award programs, please contact Lara Durben at 763-682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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About MTGA
The MTGA, founded in 1939 and located in Buffalo, Minn., 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 42 million turkeys annually. 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, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube (@MinnesotaTurkey).

About MTRPC
The 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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Keith Burger, Turkey Valley Farms, Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:    (763) 682-2171

E-mail:     ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

Note: Photos available up on request

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) is proud to announce its prestigious Ranelius Award in 2017 goes to Keith Burger, Turkey Valley Farms, Marshall, Minn. The announcement was made at the MTGA Annual Meeting on March 15 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said incoming MTGA President Chris Huisinga, Willmar, Minn. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Keith Burger is well deserved of this special honor.”

This year’s recipient has a long and productive career in the poultry industry, which started in 1969 and continued with stints at Wayne Poultry (which became Iowa Turkey Products), Cargill and most recently Turkey Valley Farms.

Burger oversaw reconstruction of the Marshall, Minn., plant and served as its general manager until he announced his retirement at the end of 2016 – although truth be told he has remained active with Turkey Valley Farms, helping with the transition of the new plant management team.

Burger also has been involved with implementing and writing of new procedures in the industry, attending many National Turkey Federation Tech & Regulation meetings in Washington DC, as well as attending seminars to expand his knowledge of the world of turkeys.

Keith and his wife, Mary, have 3 married children and 2 grandchildren

The Ranelius Award is named for Sven Ranelius, a founding father of the MTGA, often described as a quiet, unselfish person who was very dedicated to the turkey industry in Minnesota. Nominees are evaluated on two central criteria: their contribution to the industry over a period of time; and the quality of that contribution.

For more information on the MTGA or its Ranelius Award program, please contact Lara Durben at 763/682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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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. 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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Bob Peterson, Willmar, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lara Durben (Email | 763-682-2171)

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) announced its prestigious Ranelius Award in 2016 will go to Bob Peterson, Willmar, Minn. The announcement was made at the MTGA Annual Meeting on March 16 in Saint Paul, Minn. The award will be officially presented to Peterson at the organization’s summer conference, June 14-17 in Duluth.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said MTGA President Gene Brownfield of Redwood Falls, Minn. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Gene Brinton is well deserved of this special honor.”

Peterson spent a long and varied career in the turkey industry, working for such companies Pfizer, Belgrade Feed Company, and finally with Willmar Poultry Company’s Farm Service Elevator. Peterson diagnosed diseases, discussed turkey management strategies with growers, and sold feed.

“He loved to build strong relationships with growers in order to understand and best help them with their turkey management, “ said Brownfield, who has known Peterson nearly his entire career in the turkey industry. “Bob was instrumental in my success and the success of many others, and he has served the industry with integrity.”

The Ranelius Award is named for Sven Ranelius, a founding father of the MTGA, often described as a quiet, unselfish person who was very dedicated to the turkey industry in Minnesota. Nominees are evaluated on two central criteria: their contribution to the industry over a period of time; and the quality of that contribution.

For more information on the MTGA or its Ranelius Award program, please contact Lara Durben at 763/682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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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. For further details, visit , www.minnesotaturkey.com, find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MinnesotaTurkey) and follow us on Twitter (@MinnesotaTurkey).

Gene Brinton, Willmar, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben

Phone:     (763) 682-2171

E-mail:      ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented its prestigious Ranelius Award Gene Brinton, Willmar, Minn., at its annual meeting on March 19 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said John Zimmerman, 2013-14 MTGA President. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Gene Brinton is well deserved of this special honor.”

Gene is originally from Ellsworth, Iowa, where he was raised on the family farm that he still owns today.  His lifelong involvement with the care and management of turkeys began as a young boy in the 1940s while helping his father and his brothers raise turkeys on their farms.

Gene’s career has always been dedicated to the turkey industry. His first job after getting married was working for Don “Chick” Thoreson at the Ellsworth Turkey Hatchery and from there Gene moved on to work for turkey nutrition based companies while also raising turkeys as an independent grower.  Several years later, Gene was given the opportunity to join Farmland CO-OP as a turkey health and nutrition specialist and remained with Farmland until the late 60s when he moved his family from Ellsworth, Iowa to Willmar, Minnesota to become a sales representative for the I.D. Russell Company.

In the late 1970s, Gene decided it was time to pursue his lifelong dream to have his own company and in 1980 founded Brinton Veterinary Supply, Inc. (BVS), a veterinary supply company specializing in turkey health and husbandry products.  Over the next several years Gene expanded the company to include nutrition consulting, a federally licensed veterinary vaccine production laboratory (Brinton Laboratories), and a diagnostic laboratory (Brinton Veterinary Services later known as Poultry Veterinary Centers).

Through the years, Gene has always been dedicated to developing effective quality health products for the turkey industry and received a patent for a product that reduces diarrhea in turkeys, acquired federal licenses for vaccine products, and also established multiple trademark turkey health products.

Gene continued to successfully lead Brinton Veterinary Supply until his retirement in 2001 when BVS was renamed Best Veterinary Solutions and was purchased by Wes Thoreson and Randy Olsen who continue to offer quality health and husbandry products to the turkey industry.

Although retired, Gene continues to be active in the turkey grower community and enjoys participating in associated golf outings and attending the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention each year, but most of all he enjoys seeing the many friends he has made over the years. Gene and his wife Nola have been married for 62 years and have two children, Jackie Brinton Mourning and Dr.  M. Kim Brinton, both of whom have worked alongside Gene in the turkey industry.

The Ranelius Award is named for Sven Ranelius, a founding father of the MTGA, often described as a quiet, unselfish person who was very dedicated to the turkey industry in Minnesota. Nominees are evaluated on two central criteria: their contribution to the industry over a period of time; and the quality of that contribution.

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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)

Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

News Release

For immediate release

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

Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., Honored with MTGA’s Most Prestigious Award

(Buffalo, MN )  … The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) presented its prestigious Ranelius Award to long-time Land ‘O Lakes (now Purina Feeds) employee Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn., at its annual meeting

Grant Shold with MTGA President Duane Jaenicke

Grant Shold with MTGA President Duane Jaenicke

on March 13 in Saint Paul, Minn.

“The Ranelius Award is the most prestigious honor given by the MTGA,” said Duane Jaenicke, 2012-13 MTGA President. “It signifies leadership and dedication to the industry based on contributions made to enhance Minnesota’s turkey industry, and Grant Shold is well deserved of this special honor.”

Shold grew up on a farm near Albert City, Iowa, where his family raised cattle, hogs and turkeys. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in poultry science, and afterwards, served four years in the Air Force. Following that, he went to work for Land O’ Lakes as a poultry production specialist, which had responsibility for selling poults (baby turkeys), feed and buying turkeys for Land O’Lakes’ four processing plants.

His 38 years of work with Land O’ Lakes took him to Willmar, Albert Lea and finally Sauk Rapids, Minn., where he worked different positions – all with the focus on turkeys. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked in sales for the Land O’Lakes Purina Feed division and he covers turkey and gamebird feed sales in central and northern Minnesota, North Dakota, southeast Iowa and Central Wisconsin. Shold is planning his retirement this fall.

“Grant knows turkeys and has been a dedicated friend to the turkey industry in the upper Midwest for several decades,” said Jaenicke. “We will miss him and wish him well in his upcoming retirement, and we thank him for the many years of service he has given us.”

Shold served on the MTGA Board of Directors for six years (2007-2013) and has also received the MTGA Allied Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Shold and his wife, Donna, have been married 32 years. They have three children and two granddaughters, all of whom live close by.

The Ranelius Award is named for Sven Ranelius, a founding father of the MTGA, often described as a quiet, unselfish person who was very dedicated to the turkey industry in Minnesota. Nominees are evaluated on two central criteria: their contribution to the industry over a period of time; and the quality of that contribution.

For more information on the MTGA or its Ranelius Award program, please contact Lara Durben at 763/682-2171 or ldurben@minnesotaturkey.com.

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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)

              

Photo cutline: 2012-13 MTGA President Duane Jaenicke, right, with Grant Shold.