MTGA and MTRPC Announce 2024 Ranelius Scholarship Recipients

T.J. Mitchell (left) from Appleton, Minn. accepts the MTGA/MTRPC Ranelius Scholarship from MTRPC President Loren Brey (right) during the 2024 MTGA Summer Summit Awards Luncheon.

Alexandria, MN – The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association(MTGA) and the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council (MTRPC) are proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Ranelius Scholarships: T.J. Mitchell and Brooke Sorah. These scholarships, named after Sven Ranelius, a founding member of both MTGA and MTRPC, aim to recognize and support youth in the Midwest who are pursuing a future career in the poultry industry, encouraging more young individuals to explore turkey as a career path.

During the awards luncheon at the 2024 MTGA Summer Summit, Executive Director Ashley Kohls highlighted the significance of the Ranelius Scholarship. “The Ranelius Scholarship recognizes youth in the Midwest pursuing a future career in the poultry industry with the goal of encouraging more youth to explore turkey as a career path,” Kohls stated. “During the application process, applicants highlight their high school and college activities, detail their career aspirations, and emphasize how their college program will help them achieve their goals. Lastly, they are asked to write an essay on an industry issue – this year, focusing on how to best promote turkey products to consumers.”

T.J. Mitchell, a senior in high school from Appleton, Minnesota, was one of this year’s recipients. T.J.'s father, Brad Mitchell, operates Shadowland Dairy Farm. T.J. is currently enrolled at Southwest Minnesota State University, where he will be majoring in Agribusiness Management and playing football in the fall. During his high school tenure, T.J. participated in FFA, National Honors Society, trapshooting, and was a three-sport athlete. He plans on using his agribusiness degree to better understand the agribusiness side of the poultry industry and potentially work with his father's business to create drivable poultry mortality carts.

In his written essay, T.J. highlighted the health benefits of turkey as a low calorie, lean, protein. He suggested rebranding turkey as “the healthy, affordable, go-to meat for all individuals who care about their health.” Additionally, he encouraged sponsoring professional athletes to help reach the right demographic.

T.J. was present at the luncheon to accept his scholarship.

Brooke Sorah, the second recipient, is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Brooke, the daughter of Barb Dahn and John Sorah, is majoring in Animal Science with an emphasis on poultry science and is currently attending the Midwest Poultry Consortium’s Center of Excellence program. She is an active member of the UWRF Poultry Judging team, Falcon Shooting sports, and serves as a Girl Scouts leader.

As to increasing turkey demand and promoting the products, Brooke’s advice is to meet consumers where their concerns are. By using social media outlets, the industry could increase education to consumers, focusing on health benefits and environmental sustainability of the industry.

Brooke is currently interning with Hy-Line North America and was unable to attend the luncheon due to conflicts with her internship.

For more information about the Ranelius Scholarship and the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, please visit or contact Peter Scharpe at


About MTGA

MTGA is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering a booming Minnesota turkey industry and its ability to positively contribute 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 an estimated 40 million turkeys annually. MTGA also represents turkey processors and industry stakeholders, together advocating for the interests of the Minnesota turkey farmer and industry as a whole.


MTRPC is the oldest check-off commodity organization in Minnesota. Growers voluntarily support the programming of MTRPC via funds paid through the check-off. MTRPC works diligently to encourage consumers to eat more turkey year-round, sponsor innovative turkey research, and inform a variety of audiences about the benefits of turkey.