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New NTF Chairman Tells Industry to Face Challenges

by 5m Editor
22 February 2011, at 9:56am

US - The National Turkey Federation's (NTF) Board of Directors elected Rick Huisinga to serve as the federation's 2011 chairman. Mr Huisinga is executive vice president of Willmar Poultry Company in Willmar, Minnesota.

During his acceptance speech at the recent Annual Convention of NTF, Mr Huisinga said: "I'm a pragmatic person and I believe that using common sense and simply doing the right thing will serve us well to mitigate the numerous regulatory and legislative issues our industry will continue to face in this strange political climate. Whether it is talking about environmental stewardship, the responsible use of antibiotics or food safety practices, we can all do the right thing by being a part of the public affairs process."

He discussed in detail those regulatory and legislative challenges that will confront the turkey industry – antibiotic use in animal agriculture; food safety; environmental regulations; the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed marketing rule; and renewable fuels policy.

During the conclusion of his acceptance speech, Mr Huisinga spoke about the importance of being engaged in NTF by saying: "The best way to ensure we do the right thing is to continue to collaborate, communicate and coordinate on many of the items I’ve just discussed."

During NTF's Annual Convention, the Board of Directors also elected Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill Value Added Meats, as vice chairman; and John Burkel, director of Northern Pride, Inc., as secretary-treasurer. Yubert Envia, vice president of turkey and prepared foods, Foster Farms, assumes the position of immediate past chairman.

Mr Huisinga began his career at Willmar Poultry Company in 1983 in the research and development department after attending school in California and at the University of Minnesota. At Willmar Poultry, his passion and dedication are focused on providing the turkey industry with innovative products, technologies and techniques for the future.

In addition to serving on NTF's Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Mr Huisinga is also on Minnesota Turkey Growers Association's Breeder Hen and Research Funding committees and is a member of the General Conference Committee on the National Poultry Improvement Plan.

Since 1945, Willmar Poultry Company has been in the business of breeding, hatching, growing and processing turkeys, as well as developing and producing hatchery automation machines and food safety vaccines.

During the convention, the Board also reelected Gary Cooper (Cooper Farms), Jihad Douglas (Aviagen Turkeys), Paul Hill (West Liberty Foods), Ron Prestage (Prestage Farms), John Reicks (Sara Lee Food and Beverage), Ted Seger (Farbest Foods, Inc.) and Carl Wittenburg (Protein Alliance, Inc.) to the Executive Committee (EC).

The Board elected Jim Leighton of Perdue Farms, Inc., to his first term as an EC member.

After the Board meeting, the elected EC members appointed Jeff Sveen of Dakota Provisions, to the Executive Committee as at-large member.