Outgoing MTGA Board Directors Honored for Service

News Release

For immediate release

Contact:  Lara Durben, (763) 682-2171 or

Outgoing MTGA Board Directors Honored for Service, Dedication to Turkey Industry

(Buffalo, MN)… Tim Johnson, Willmar, Minn.; Grant Shold, Sauk Rapids, Minn.; and Gary Thurnau, Faribault, Minn., were honored by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) for their many years of service to the organization’s Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on March 13 in St. Paul, Minn.

“On behalf of MTGA, I thank these three directors for their dedication and leadership to our organization,” said 2013 MTGA President John Zimmerman. “All have made significant contributions to our organization and

Tim Johnson, Grant Shold and Gary Thurnau

Tim Johnson, Grant Shold and Gary Thurnau

Minnesota’s turkey industry and their commitment to both MTGA and to our industry has been invaluable.”

Tim Johnson serves as General Manager of Willmar Poultry Farms, Farm Service Elevator and Turkey Valley Farms. He has worked for WPC for over 40 years and the company currently raises 1 million toms and 3 million hens in Kandiyohi County.  In addition to his recent four-year stint on the MTGA Board, Tim served three terms (a total of nine additional years) on the Board in the late 1990s-2000s and is a Past President.

Gary Thurnau currently serves as Contract Procurement Coordinator for Jennie-O Turkey Store at the Faribault, MN office. Prior to his involvement in the turkey industry, Gary operated a crop and livestock farm. He has worked almost 20 years with The Turkey Store Company and now Jennie-O Turkey Store, and served on the MTGA Board for nine years and is a Past President.

Shold, who is retiring from Purina Feeds this spring, has has been an Allied Director on the Board since 2007. He is also a  current member of the MTGA Allied Committee and received MTGA’s Allied Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and the MTGA Ranelius Award in 2012.


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