Three Turkey Industry Innovators Receive NTF Lifetime Achievement Award
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The National Turkey Federation (NTF) honored Martin and Norman Rich from Quad Cities, Iowa, retired owners of Louis Rich Foods, and Bill Bates, owner, Bates Turkey Farms, Inc., Fort Deposit, Ala., with the NTF Lifetime Achievement Award.
Presented here during the NTF Annual Convention, these industry leaders received the award for their long-term, unselfish dedication to creative innovation in the turkey industry. The award includes an honorary lifetime NTF membership.
In presenting the award to Martin and Norman Rich, Fred Cook, a retired Louis Rich employee, said, “The Rich’s greatest contributions to the turkey industry were through their foodservice products, which led to the many unique consumer products. They cut the whole bird into parts and marketed them separately to the foodservice industry. They introduced the pre-cooked turkey ham, which lead to the turkey salami, bologna, pastrami and franks. They were the first truly national turkey processor and were dedicated to promoting the healthful benefits of eating turkey.”
Bill Bates received his award from Past NTF Chairman John O’Carroll, president of Cargill Meat Solutions. In speaking about Bate’s accomplishments, O’Carroll said, “Bates has been a life long advocate for the turkey industry. He is known throughout the southeast as the ‘turkey man.’”
“His largest accomplishment was creating the fully cooked Hickory Smoked Turkey, which led to his opening up Bates House of Turkey Restaurants, which only serves turkey, of course. His success as a turkey farmer and turkey promoter has been accomplished because he truly loves raising and selling turkeys, and promoting the healthy aspects of the product. His motto, which is printed on everything from delivery trucks to T-shirts, is ‘Eat Turkey, Feel Perky’,” O’Carroll added.
NTF initiated its Lifetime Achievement Award program by awarding three honorary life memberships at its 1946 Annual Convention. Since that time, 56 recipients have been recognized with this honor. Past recipients include executives of national and state poultry/turkey organizations, turkey industry leaders, allied industry leaders, government officials, university professors or researchers and journalists. Recipients are recognized for their long-term, unselfish commitment to the turkey industry and to their organizations.
(Left to Right) Norman and Martin Rich, retired owners of Louis Rich Foods, receives NTF’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Bill Bates, Bates Turkey Farms, receives NTF’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site, www.eatturkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,500 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.