National Turkey Federation Elects 2015 Officers

February 20, 2015
San Juan, PR

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) Board of Directors has elected members of the 2015 Executive Committee during its February annual convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Jihad Douglas, president of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc. was elected 2015 NTF chairman.

The Board also elected John Reicks, vice president of internal operations for Tyson Foods, Inc., as vice-chairman; Carl Wittenburg, president of Protein Alliance, Inc., as secretary-treasurer. Gary Cooper, chief operating officer of Cooper Farms, assumes the position of immediate past chairman.

Jihad Douglas completed his Ph.D. in Poultry Nutrition in 1989 at the University of Nebraska, remaining at the university as a research associate until 1993. Attending Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener, Ontario, Douglas completed his MBA in 1997. Since leaving the University of Nebraska, he has worked in all aspects of primary breeding, including nutrition, technical support, research, and management. He strongly believes in providing the turkey industry with genetics that are competitive with other proteins through investment in delivery and innovation. Douglas has served as president of Aviagen Turkeys’ Nicholas brand for 11 years.



2015 NTF Executive Committee

(back row: Jeff Sveen, Kerry Doughty, Glenn Leitch, John Reicks, Phil Seger, Rick Huisinga, and Ruth Kimmelshue)
(front row: Carl Wittenburg, Ray Cheeks, John Burkel, Gary Cooper, Jihad Douglas, Ron Kardel and Matt Cook)


The Board also reelected Executive Committee members John Burkel of Northern Pride, Inc.; Matthew Cook of Norbest; Kerry Doughty of Butterball, LLC; Rick Huisinga of Willmar Poultry Co.; Ron Kardel of West Liberty Foods; Ruth Kimmelshue of Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats; Glenn Leitch of Jennie-O Turkey Store; Phil Seger of Farbest Foods, Inc.; and Jeff Sveen of Dakota Provisions.

Executive Committee members appointed Ray Cheeks of Kraft Foods as an at-large member of the Executive Committee.


About the National Turkey Federation

The National Turkey Federation is the national advocate raising awareness for its members' products, while strengthening their ability to profitably and safely deliver wholesome, high-quality, and nutritious food to consumers worldwide. NTF represents growers, processors, hatchers, breeders, distributors, allied services and state associations. NTF is found at, on Twitter @TurkeyGal and on Facebook as Turkey. The Perfect Protein®