National Turkey Federation Elects Minnesota Farmer to Chair of Executive Committee

AUSTIN, Texas – Last week, turkey growers, industry professionals, and leaders gathered in Austin, Texas, for the National Turkey Federation (NTF) Annual Convention. During the event, Minnesota turkey farmer John Zimmerman of Northfield, Minnesota, was elected as the 80th NFTExecutive Committee Chairman.


“I am deeply honored to accept the role of National Turkey Federation Chairman,” John said during his acceptance speech. “As a second-generation turkey grower, it is a privilege to further serve an industry I have dedicated my life to.”


As owner of P&J Products, John has more than 35 years of experience in the turkey industry. He and his family, wife Kara, and son Grant, raise around 100,000 birds annually, as well as corn and soybeans.


John is a graduate of Iowa State University and the Minnesota Agriculture Rural Leadership Program (MARL).  He has previously served Minnesota turkeygrowers as president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council.


As the 2024 NFT Chairman, John plans to remain focused on addressing the industry's ongoing health challenges, specifically Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), Reovirus, and the return of Avian Pneumovirus.


John will focus industry efforts on researching and developing effective vaccines and vaccine strategies for HPAI so that when appropriate trade agreements are in place, the turkey industry can act swiftly to implement these strategies where needed and necessary.


“While my personal sector of the turkey industry is on the farm, I am acutely aware that industry challenges don’t end when the birds leave my farm,” John said. “Our industry faces continued regulatory and legislative hurdles in areas such as food safety, CO2 availability, labor and trade.”


Under John’s leadership, these issues will remain high priorities for NFT.


Zimmerman is proceeded by outgoing Chairman Steve Lykken of Jennie-O Turkey Store, also from Minnesota. Lykken will move into the role of immediate past chairman. Jay Jandrain of Butterball, LLC will serve as Vice Chairman, and Thierry Murad of AJC International, Inc. will serve as secretary/treasurer for the organization.

Photo(NFT EC officers 2024): 2024 NTF Officers Left to right: Jandrain, Zimmerman, Lykken and Murad